The Ridgeway is a permissive path owned by Thames Water in southeast London. It is built on an embankment that covers the Southern Outfall Sewer, designed by Joseph Bazalgette after an outbreak of cholera in 1853 and the "Great Stink" of 1858. It is similar to the Greenway in east London that covers the Northern Outfall Sewer.
In total the pathway is 3.5 miles in length and runs ENE/WSW. The western third between Plumstead railway station and The Link community centre in Thamesmead is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich; the remainder of the path towards the Thames Path and Crossness Pumping Station is in the London Borough of Bexley.
The Greenwich end of the Ridgeway was refurbished in 2010 and the Bexley end of the Ridgeway was refurbished in 2017. The Plumstead entrance to the Ridgeway was also refurbished in 2018, with public art work installed by local artist Sam Skinner and Ninth Seal.
The Thames Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) for Crossrail, Sophia and Mary were launched from railway land adjacent to the western end of the Ridgeway between Abbey Wood and Woolwich Crossrail stations. They were used to create the tunnel between the two Elizabeth Line stations and construct the 2.9 km long Crossrail Thames Tunnel between Plumstead portal and North Woolwich portal.. The Crossrail tunnels run under the western end of the Ridgeway
Start and end points
- The route's western start point
- The route's eastern end point
At the western end of the Ridgeway, the housing association Peabody Trust have applied to build 930 homes adjacent to Plumstead bus garage. Improvements to existing public spaces around the development will include improvements to pathways that pass the Ridgeway. Proposals have been put forward by the Pharaoh Project to create a 'biodome' within the underpass at Pettman Crescent adjacent to the Plumstead entrance of the Ridgeway.
Crossrail have proposed the development of a maintenance depot and train sidings on railway land adjacent to the western end of the Ridgeway. There is speculation that there may be an extension to the London Overground train service from Barking to Plumstead that will take a route along the Ridgeway and create another inner London train loop if trains ran from Clapham Junction, through Denmark Hill, Lewisham and Charlton.
At the eastern end of the Ridgeway, proposals have been put forward by Peabody Trust to reopen the Lakeside Complex adjacent to the Ridgeway as a new cultural hub, with space for 40 new affordable creative workspaces, a nursery, a community kitchen and cafe overlooking Southmere lake in Thamesmead. This proposal has been funded by the Arts Council England and is expected to open in spring 2019 managed by Bow Arts.
Ridgeway Plumstead lower entrance
Ridgeway Plumstead upper entrance
Ridgeway Plumstead upper level
Ridgeway Plumstead lower level
Ridgeway upper level looking towards Plumstead and Nathan Road exit
The Ridgeway at Plumstead
Ridgeway looking over Crossrail temporary offices
Ridgeway looking over Greenwich reuse and recycling centre
Ridgeway Royal Borough of Greenwich portion
Ridgeway Bexley London Borough Council portion
Ridgeway behind Sporting Club Thamesmead F.C.
Ridgeway behind Crossness Sewage Treatment Works
Ridgeway entrance on the Thames Path
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