Northside | Start: 09:09 | End: 09:29 | Duration: 29mins
In terms of the route of the walk itself, it is not quite as binary as it appears. There are parts where a pedestrian can walk close to the river, other areas where this is not possible. To take Riverside Gardens, complete public access to the water would not be feasible, considering health and safety regulations, therefore, we decided to retain part of route where the community most needs that route, so very much making use of the best of the greenery and the view of Lambeth Bridge, while continuing to use the rest of the space for private building. To be clear, just a section of the river route is public space, but most is residential.
With regard to the Tate Britain, I think we very much want to maintain it as a home for the best of our country’s work, and this is something we gave a lot of thought to. The distance from the river means that we will not be considering its position in our future river path closures.
Overall, Millbank Tower will continue to function as previously – with additional leaf blowing facilities, away from the direction of the river – keeping the height and the glass windows as they stand. This is a commitment we have stated clearly in the recent review, and one we are going to stick to. Again, the gap from this building to the river itself means closures will not impact significantly.
The unique contribution of pedestrians in this area, should not be overlooked, I think, but is actually quite low. I think they have played their part in important bridging steps towards the use of public spaces for all, but I think we can now hunker down slightly and re-version the motor vehicles, including buses, taxes and motorcycles to make them more available to those who might have previously travelled by foot, particularly those who chose to journey alongside the river. As a key part of our three-year strategy includes re-routing the Thames Path away from the river, behind our iconic buildings, known internationally for their architecture, previous routes will no longer be possible. This is all part of the process of creating one community in London, one shared vision.