New bridge improves links between Hackney Wick and Olympic Park
- Credit: Hackney Council
A bridge linking Olympic Park and Hackney Wick opened to the public this week along with a pedestrian underpass route from Wallis Road to Hackney Wick Overground station.
Gainsborough Bridge opened to pedestrians and cyclists on November 8 after more than 80 per cent of residents and businesses in the area expressed their support for the new route.
The council received approval from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which acts as the planning authority for Olympic Park area, earlier this year.
The bridge was built with the aims of reducing car-use and encouraging greener transport to and from the park.
It was previously only used by Gainsborough Primary School, providing students with direct access to the sports facilities at Olympic Park.
Rebecca Mackenzie, interim headteacher at the school, said: "[The bridge] will make the school more accessible, shortening journey times for pupils who live on the other side of the canal and helping us visit the school playing fields, Olympic Park and Hackney Marshes easily."
On the western side of the canal, local residents created a garden area with planters.
But the land, which is owned by the council, will be made fully publicly accessible.
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The council aims to work with local residents to activate the space for the local community. It met with residents last month for gardening and planting activities.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, portfolio holder for planning, culture and inclusive economy, said: “The council is determined to ensure Hackney Wick continues to be a place that inspires and supports creativity, while taking opportunities to improve local amenities for both new and existing residents."
Jordanna Greaves, co-founder of Hackney Wick independent creative enterprise Grow, originally pushed for a temporary route to the station after a previous entrance on Wallis Road closed more than two years ago, decreasing footfall in the vicinity.
She said: "This underpass will help people move around the area more easily and businesses based here will be pleased to be able to welcome people again.”