Contest for radical rethink of rail footbridge design

Aaron Morby 3 weeks ago
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Network Rail has challenged engineers and architects to come up with ideas that radically rethink rail footbridge design in the UK.

Strood station bridge is accessible for everyone but lacks flair

The infrastructure provider said ideas for the next generation of fully accessible footbridges should be innovative, challenge presumptions and raise expectations for the quality of future designs. 

A RIBA design contest has been launched that is open internationally to practising architects, structural engineers, civil engineers or students of these design disciplines. 

In developing their proposals, entrants are encouraged to consider how their accessible footbridge designs might be adapted for use in other settings such as at level crossings.

Network Rail owns just under 2,400 footbridges, providing access across the railway for both passengers at stations and people using rights of way. 

As part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme, Network Rail has installed 200 footbridges since 2006.

Design of Denmark Hill station in south London for better access

The AfA funding initiative was established to improve accessibility at railway stations through the creation of obstacle free routes from station entrances to platforms.  

The competition will be organised over a single phase, involving the anonymous submission and appraisal of design proposals. 

A Design Fund of £20,000 will be available for award at discretion of the judging panel to the submission judged to be the best response to the challenges outlined in the Competition Brief. 

Anthony Dewar,  Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail, said:  “We’re challenging the architectural and engineering community to come up with new and innovative ideas for footbridge structures that will be both functional in form and sympathetic to the communities that they serve.

“The winning design concept will also need to protect and enhance the great legacy of engineering design that is inherent in railway history.  We’re excited to see the solutions that will be put forward.”

Further details are here.

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