Bishop’s Bridge Road Public Realm Proposals

The Neighbourhoood CIL funded public realm action plan for Paddington’s Bishop’s Bridge Road has been completed. Commissioned in February 2021, the action plan contains a wide range of ideas to tackle severance between Paddington Station and the surrounding Paddington Opportunity Area, centred on Bishop’s Bridge Road, between Eastbourne Terrace and Harrow Road.

The study dovetails with the emerging North Paddington Vision led by WCC’s Place-shaping team and is an extension to the City Council’s Paddington Places work. The ideas have been generated through extensive discussions with Westminster City Council, Network Rail, Canal and River Trust, Transport for London, Marylebone Boys’ School and members of The Paddington Partnership.

Bishop’s Bridge Broad presents a barrier to pedestrian movement and hides from view the many canalside assets and amenities on offer. Whereas a new pedestrian crossing has been commissioned at the Eastbourne Terrace end, the remaining three crossing points on the bridge frustrate pedestrian users, hamper access to bus stops and Paddington’s waterspace and have been identified by people who live and work locally as needing review. The lack of cycling facilities is out of step with current thinking, pavements are cluttered with redundant signage and poles, the coach stop results in blocked pavements, wayfinding is poor, surfaces tired and there is a lack of contrast in terms of colour, character and green infrastructure.

For the majority of passengers leaving Paddington Station (and the Elizabeth Line station in 2022) Bishop’s Bridge Road is the connector between Paddington Station, Paddington Central, Little Venice, Merchant Square and the canalside. Its current layout presents severance and crossing the road is daunting for many pedestrians, even if they are not first-time users.

Undertaken by 5th Studio, the study identifies a series of ideas including widened pavements, an additional pedestrian crossing, green infrastructure, improved lighting, dedicated provision for cyclists, creating new sight lines to the canal below and public art.

The next steps involve an extensive phase of public consultation, with people who live, work and study in the Paddington area. Click here to to read the full RIBA Stage 2 report.

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