Network Rail Infrastructure and RIBA Competitions are holding a design ideas competition offering a fund of £20,000.

They are looking to fund design concepts for fully accessible pedestrian footbridges across the UK rail network.

The competition is open internationally to practising architects, structural engineers, civil engineers and students of those design disciplines.  The organisers are looking for submissions for pedestrian footbridge designs for the UK’s rail network and, whilst the winning submission may not necessarily be implemented in full, it will help contribute towards and influence new standard designs.

Network Rail owns about 2,400 footbridges across the UK railway providing access for passengers and people using rights of way.  Over 200 of these have been installed since 2006 as part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme and a further tranche of installations has been delivered as part of Network Rail’s high-risk level crossing closure programme and as part of its cyclical renewals.

The majority of railway footbridges are single-span structures and, due to the drive to electrify Britain’s railways, taller footbridges need to be installed.  This often results in the most significant change in the local landscape since the introduction of the railway itself.

Footbridges have a substantial visual impact and Network Rail wants to produce a catalogue of appropriate designs to bring greater alignment across various programmes. They expect the ideas developed for this competition will be innovative, challenging and will raise expectations for the quality of future designs.

More information can be found on the RIBA Competitions page.

Please note applicants must be registered through RIBA Competitions and an administration fee of £50+VAT (£25+VAT for students) is required for each submission.

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