PROGRESS TOWARDS OUR GOAL

As the project progresses we shall keep you up-to-date on this page. Please check back from time-to-time, or follow us on Facebook        and get regular updates.
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June 2020: 
We’ve reached another important milestone with the submission by our architects Oxford Architects of a Listed Building Consent Application to Wiltshire Council Planning Department. The associated Design & Access Statement can be found here.
 
A key aspect of our latest design thinking is that we now propose the use of GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) for the new canopy. This is as a result of extensive research by our engineering consultant David Redfern and Oxford Architects which has confirmed that we cannot now get corrugated steel moulded into precisely the very tight curve at the ridge to match the original. The old GWR were able to do this by making their own standard canopies in bulk, whereas we would now have to get a one-off specially tooled up for us at great cost. 
 
At the same time, detailed investigations have shown how very good the latest GRP methodology is in terms of visual authenticity, (as well as durability and maintainability). The new canopy will be moulded to look exactly like the original corrugated metal. GRP is used extensively by Network Rail when replacing life-expired station canopies and associated wooden dagger boards, which has proved that GRP can replicate exactly the original whilst needing little or no maintenance. We continue to work closely with the Railway Heritage Trust as we have throughout the project, and they have confirmed that they would "support the use of GRP/FRP if it's done well”. The RHT commissioned a report into the use of GRP/FRP for canopy fascias and they "encourage its use where appropriate”, so we will be studying this report closely.
 
On a further piece of news, after further discussions with Network Rail about what would need to be done to enable us to install the new canopy without interfering with the live railway or passengers crossing the footbridge, Network Rail have decided to conduct a new structural survey of the footbridge to see if they feel they will need to do any work on it in the medium term. This would be with a view to a consideration that if they decide they do need to do work, then perhaps this could be planned to coincide with getting the canopy back on. This would particularly help us if this meant that Network Rail would bear the cost of organising alternative walking routes for the duration of the work. We are very grateful to Network Rail for this helpful suggestion and we await the outcome of the survey with interest.
March 2020
Even though the country may be in lock-down, we are continuing to make progress.

At the end of February our architects Oxford Architects completed the first stage of the replacement canopy design and submitted a formal Report in the GRIP 3 format required by GWR and Network Rail. As a result GWR were able to release the second tranche of their generous grant from their Customer and Communities Improvement Fund.

(The GRIP Report formats are the Network Rail methodology for managing third party projects on the national network. GRIP stands for Governance for Railway Investment Projects).

 

The GRIP 3 Report has also been submitted to Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust, so that all our key stakeholders are fully up to date with progress. Our mentor at Network Rail subsequently convened a telephone conference meeting between ourselves and the Network Rail Asset Protection Project Manager to review the report and decide on next steps. As a result of a very useful discussion, Network Rail were able to confirm their continued support, and it was agreed that we should plan to move on to the next design stages, which will complete the design, prepare technical documentation and send invitations to tender to contractors. (In the GRIP terminology this will be GRIP 4 & 5). But before we do that, Network Rail will hold internal discussions to agree what their costs are likely to be for their management time to assess and approve the plans.

As of November 2019:
  • We are a registered charity.
  • Lord Faulkner of Worcester has agreed to be our Patron.
  • Conducted four years of investigative work, including acquiring a copy of the original design drawings for the canopy​

  • Engaged an experienced independent engineering consultant with wide-ranging railway experience.

  • Had visits and inspections by Network Rail engineers and fabrication engineers.

  • Commissioned an independent professional engineering report by a ​Network Rail approved company into the suitability of the bridge to take a new canopy.  We are happy to report, the bridge passed the test with flying colours!

  • We are working with Network Rail, who own the footbridge:

    • The first window of opportunity for the installation of the canopy is 2021.​

    • We are looking into entering a service agreement with them.  

  • A topographical survey was completed in early November.

  • Costs:​

    • We don't yet know the final total of the project costs but:​

      • Producing the design and going to tender will cost between £35,000​ and £40,000.  This includes Network Rail management time.

      • The fabrication and installation costs are yet to be determined.

  • Funds to date:

    • The Great Western Railway Customer and Communities Improvement Fund has generously committed £15,000 towards the first stage of the design.  THANK YOU!
    • Another £20,000 has been raised including donations from a private individual and Bradford on Avon Secret Gardens.  THANK YOU!
    • The Railway Heritage Trust have committed, in principle, to cover 40% of the fabrication and installation costs once the design is approved.  

Registered Charity No. 1184339

Registered Office:  Silver Street House, Silver Street, Bradford on Avon BA15 1JY

footbridgecanopy@gmail.com

©2019 Footbridge Canopy Project     

 

PLEASE SEE HERE FOR OUR PRIVACY STATEMENT                                     

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