The Ridgeway,

Thamesmead

Client: London Borough of Bexley
Stakeholders: Thames Water; Peabody Trust
Team: Waterman Group, civils, costing and CDMC; Complete Ecology, biodiversity; NW Kent Countryside Partnership, community engagement
Programme: 2015-16
Stages: 1-6
Contract: Term
Contractor: FM Conway
Value: £350k

The eastern section of London’s Southern Outfall Sewer passes through Thamesmead on its way to Joseph Bazalgette’s famous Crossness Pumping Station on the Thames. The Ridgeway is the pedestrian/cyclist route along the sewer embankment from Plumstead.

The route within Bexley is book-ended by The Link community centre and Sporting Club Thamesmead, and bisected by the SE London Green Chain and Lesnes to Crossness routes, connecting Southmere and Crossway Parks. The Ridgeway is being upgraded to improve local access, use and habitat value. Pathways will be re-surfaced, and a strategic new access formed at Southmere Lake, as proposed by UP’s Lesnes to Crossness masterplan. Naturally occurring fruiting shrubs and trees will be augmented to extend foraging opportunities, supporting local tradition and history, which included 'The Preservatory', part of Plumstead’s renowned Co-operative Society.

Blighted space beneath the Eastern Way will be transformed into a new hybrid place for recreational use, as a gateway to the Sporting Club. Defined by the striking red of the flyover’s primed steel beams overhead, this transitional space will have a strong new identity in red asphalt, with white-lined athletics tracks and ball court markings for games.