Horseshoe bridge to be restored

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Fed-up
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Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

Glad to see that the Horseshoe bridge at Kennet Mouth is going to be restored, but can't help but think that the order of restoration is wrong. Surely they should replace the wooden panels with the mesh first and then paint it. Otherwise the vandals will just come back to paint the newly painted wooden panels.

Source - https://rdg.today/historic-footbridge-o ... r-repairs/
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

The way I read it is they are replacing the wooden panels with the mesh ones – the wooden panels where put on many years ago and have been replaced a few times as they rot / get damaged
I seem to remember was upright planking with small slots between that you could just see through and that had been replacement for ornately cut upright planking (before my time)
I think they later went for panels as the planks where easier to damage
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Funny that Mr Page is moaning about it being unsightly. Is this the same Mr Page who wanted to put an unsightly concrete eyesore down the side of the Kennet known as the Mass Rapid transit scheme?

Any way - aside from that good news.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by MickEdge »

On the odd occasions I use it, it’s by bike, and I find it increasingly hard work dragging it over it. That aside, It’s a sensible restoration, but I’m not sure how important a Victorian relic it is, other than as a useful pedestrian bridge.

I have never had many misgivings about the original idea to link the A329 to Napier Road, and so reduce London Road congestion. An opportunity now lost forever. By the way, when is the mini park and ride going to open?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

The P&R is now open. The one at Winnersh is closed temporarily whilst they build another level so people are redirected to the one at TVP.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

I wonder if it will be made accessible to those in wheel chairs?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

The bridge is listed so it will depend on Historic England. There is nothing specific on the listing, but if the steps are part of the original feature then they will probably be reluctant to remove them.

The listing can be found at https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/ ... ry/1113621
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

They don't need to remove the steps, they could be adapted to make a ramp.
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MickEdge
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by MickEdge »

Fed-up wrote: 08 Feb 2022 09:18 The bridge is listed so it will depend on Historic England. There is nothing specific on the listing, but if the steps are part of the original feature then they will probably be reluctant to remove them.

The listing can be found at https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/ ... ry/1113621
Or they could knock it down and build a new accessible bridge across the Kennet mouth, from which to admire Brunel’s bridge, although the north side widening was added long after his death. It strikes me the Horseshoe bridge is listed just because it’s attached.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by C.A.Versham »

That is an interesting point about how much old infrastructure we retain when it does not meet current functional requirements. A bridge, like an office block is designed for a reason related to a function. Unless it is of exceptional architectural merit why keep it? Why not replace it with a better one? Other generations certainly would have done. Would we have wanted to keep the old Caversham Bridge just because it was old?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by dave m »

There's already the other footbridge near the Fisherman's.
I guess that you could fit some kind of secondary bridge to the other side but costs would be excessive.

horseshoe Bridge is listed partly because of being a rare type of bridge and I dare say easier for disabled access than some pedestrian bridges.
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Souwester
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Souwester »

dave m wrote: 10 Feb 2022 14:21 There's already the other footbridge near the Fisherman's.
There is indeed, but there's no towpath on the northern side between the two. Without the horseshoe bridge the only route to Tesco and Napier Road would be via the pedestrian tunnel in Kenavon Drive.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

Souwester wrote: 10 Feb 2022 15:25
dave m wrote: 10 Feb 2022 14:21 There's already the other footbridge near the Fisherman's.
There is indeed, but there's no towpath on the northern side between the two. Without the horseshoe bridge the only route to Tesco and Napier Road would be via the pedestrian tunnel in Kenavon Drive.
I do wonder if they will extend a path along that side now it’s all to be developed that side / area – there has been recent work to clear out all the ‘tunnels’ under the bridge either side of the river

They even found the old mobile crane used by the boatyard for lifting boats in/out under one of them – it had all been overgrown so unseen
I didn’t even know it was still there!
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

Many years ago the bridge was heavy planking with a 2x2 beams halfway across and that was as per original design – they were there to aid the barge horses to grip when it was wet – and the bridge was built for those horses to cross and continue their journey – don’t think the public was consider back then
It was repaired / restored to that style a couple of times

Later on due to idiots on pushbikes flying down either side, and causing a few nasty accidents they extend the beams full width to stop all hat

Much later in one restoration they got changed to steps and a sort of ramped style, but the mad cyclists returned, so it was changed to the funny layout of differing steps each side – which doesn’t stop cyclists but does slow them down!

Unfortunately to make it wheel/push chair friendly would open it up to the mad cyclists again – bit of a Catch 22 whatever is done
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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MickEdge
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by MickEdge »

Seems like the bridge is a bit like Trigger’s brush in Only Fools and Horses.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

MickEdge wrote: 11 Feb 2022 17:03 Seems like the bridge is a bit like Trigger’s brush in Only Fools and Horses.
Nearly but not quite

Apart from any ‘repairs’ the ironwork is all original, along with majority of the structural woodwork – its only the walkway area that’s been regularly replaced but in hindsight I expect that was originally replaced quite often having had large barge horses regularly going over it
There again I remember back in the 60’s the old planking on it which was about 2’’ thick – so maybe some was still original
The planking sides got replaced with infill panels which have been done a few times but I think that was due to using cheap stuff that hasn’t lasted / got vandalised
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
ChipbuttyG
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Still no response about disabled access.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

As its never had disabled access, nor was it designed as a ‘pedestrian’ route then I don’t think obliged to put any in
Plus – from the Kennet Side there is little difference in distance whether walking along and over HSB and the pathway though, or using the new bridge by The Jolly Angler’s, through Kennet Walk and under Napier Rd underpass
The difference between the two is just 170yds more if going to Tesco but 190yds less if wanting Kings Meadow etc
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Lots of places were never designed for disable access. Does that mean it shouldn't have disabled access now?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

The Equalities Act does not override Listed Building consent, especially if the changes are damaging to the listed building. You can find an overview at https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/h ... yofaccess/

If you are concerned about this, then I suggest that you discuss it with Network Rail and RBC.
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

What about bridges though? ;-)

All that needs to be done is change one side of the steps into a ramp by inserting small wedges on each step. I'd hardly say it would have any major impact on how the horseshoe bridge looks.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:26 What about bridges though? ;-)

All that needs to be done is change one side of the steps into a ramp by inserting small wedges on each step. I'd hardly say it would have any major impact on how the horseshoe bridge looks.
Why don’t you go and find out about the bridges for yourself and/or complain to whoever owns the bridge e.g. network rail/RBC.
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MickEdge
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by MickEdge »

I’d have like to see a barge horse using the bridge. Don’t suppose their any pictures.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 11:09 Lots of places were never designed for disable access. Does that mean it shouldn't have disabled access now?
Why if there is an alternative, which is why the other bridge / route was built for, to allow cyclists / push or wheel chair users easier 'full' access?
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

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ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:26 What about bridges though? ;-)

All that needs to be done is change one side of the steps into a ramp by inserting small wedges on each step. I'd hardly say it would have any major impact on how the horseshoe bridge looks.
And thus allow errant cyclists to fly down it again, and going back to making it dangerous

The new bridge even has measures to stop cyclists racing down off it as they knew the problems they caused at the HSB
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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chris_j_wood
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by chris_j_wood »

MickEdge wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:45 I’d have like to see a barge horse using the bridge. Don’t suppose their any pictures.
Given that the current bridge is bolted to the side of the railway bridge, and that the coming of the railways pretty well ended cargo carriage on Britain's inland waterways, there is actually probably only a very small window for such a photograph. I guess there must have been an earlier towpath bridge before the railway bridge was built, unless they had a ferry, but I don't think I've ever seen an image of it.

Personally I've never quite seen why people get so excited by a rather ugly wooden bridge, but it seems it must be preserved at all costs. One of the issues with the bus bridge planned at one time was that it had to cross the Kennet right at its junction with the Thames, so as to preserve the horseshoe bridge, which made it much more intrusive.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:31 And thus allow errant cyclists to fly down it again, and going back to making it dangerous

The new bridge even has measures to stop cyclists racing down off it as they knew the problems they caused at the HSB
The current measures at HSB only cause a problem for cyclists going up the bridge. It is quite an easy decent down the other side. :whistle1:
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

Fed-up wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:39
OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:31 And thus allow errant cyclists to fly down it again, and going back to making it dangerous

The new bridge even has measures to stop cyclists racing down off it as they knew the problems they caused at the HSB
The current measures at HSB only cause a problem for cyclists going up the bridge. It is quite an easy decent down the other side. :whistle1:
So I’ve been told – as long as you don’t mind the boneshaking..............

I presume it slows them down rather than stopping it
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Fed-up »

OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:49
Fed-up wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:39
OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2022 13:31 And thus allow errant cyclists to fly down it again, and going back to making it dangerous

The new bridge even has measures to stop cyclists racing down off it as they knew the problems they caused at the HSB
The current measures at HSB only cause a problem for cyclists going up the bridge. It is quite an easy decent down the other side. :whistle1:
So I’ve been told – as long as you don’t mind the boneshaking..............

I presume it slows them down rather than stopping it
Depends how good the suspension on the bike is. :whistle1:

In reality, it probably does slow them down a little, but also introduces a big hurdle for others wanting to use the bridge. How to rectify that and keep Historic England happy? Only HE can answer that one.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:35
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:26 What about bridges though? ;-)

All that needs to be done is change one side of the steps into a ramp by inserting small wedges on each step. I'd hardly say it would have any major impact on how the horseshoe bridge looks.
Why don’t you go and find out about the bridges for yourself and/or complain to whoever owns the bridge e.g. network rail/RBC.
In the real world more disabled access is a good thing. On the Reading Forum, not so much it seems.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 14:16
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:35
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:26 What about bridges though? ;-)

All that needs to be done is change one side of the steps into a ramp by inserting small wedges on each step. I'd hardly say it would have any major impact on how the horseshoe bridge looks.
Why don’t you go and find out about the bridges for yourself and/or complain to whoever owns the bridge e.g. network rail/RBC.
In the real world more disabled access is a good thing. On the Reading Forum, not so much it seems.
That statement has no basis in truth and nothing to do with what I said. Why expect others to provide you with information If you’re that much of a disability champion, roll up your own sleeves and sort it out. Alternatively give your ramp ideas to those that can do something about it. Otherwise you’re being argumentative for the sake of it.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by shrinkingman »

What's the state of the towpath between the bridge and Kings Meadow these days? Admittedly it's been many moons since I last ventured that way but it didn't used to be particularly wheelchair friendly along there. It was barely pedestrian friendly in some places.
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Feb 2022 14:24
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Feb 2022 14:16
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 14 Feb 2022 12:35

Why don’t you go and find out about the bridges for yourself and/or complain to whoever owns the bridge e.g. network rail/RBC.
In the real world more disabled access is a good thing. On the Reading Forum, not so much it seems.
That statement has no basis in truth and nothing to do with what I said. Why expect others to provide you with information If you’re that much of a disability champion, roll up your own sleeves and sort it out. Alternatively give your ramp ideas to those that can do something about it. Otherwise you’re being argumentative for the sake of it.
Oh. And there was me thinking other people were being argumentative for the sake of it. After all, what's there to argue about with better disabled access?
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OLDMAN
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by OLDMAN »

shrinkingman wrote: 14 Feb 2022 18:20 What's the state of the towpath between the bridge and Kings Meadow these days? Admittedly it's been many moons since I last ventured that way but it didn't used to be particularly wheelchair friendly along there. It was barely pedestrian friendly in some places.
It’s just a plain rough tarmac path running between the river and a fence with access opening through to the Tesco site – it continues along between the river and KM until the lock area / Reading Bridge etc
There is a small path that goes into the back of the Tesco carpark at the bottom of the HSB
So not a lot to see along it and distance wise the same as using the other alternative route
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: Horseshoe bridge to be restored

Post by Souwester »

shrinkingman wrote: 14 Feb 2022 18:20 What's the state of the towpath between the bridge and Kings Meadow these days? Admittedly it's been many moons since I last ventured that way but it didn't used to be particularly wheelchair friendly along there. It was barely pedestrian friendly in some places.
That section is very prone to flooding!
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