Schréder designs lighting for new bridge over the Thames

Schréder has designed and installed a 400 metre bespoke LED handrail and colour-change feature lighting scheme for a new pedestrian/cycle bridge across the River Thames. The project is part of the LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund) initiative, linked to the reconfiguration of Reading Station and the town centre by Reading Borough Council.

The new bridge is the focal element of the Council’s wider scheme, which aims to provide better connectivity between Caversham to the north of the Thames and Reading to the south. The bridge offers a new pedestrian and cycle route across the river, which will relieve congestion on the two existing vehicular routes and provide a direct pedestrian route between Caversham and the redeveloped Reading Station.    

David Moore, neighbourhood service manager, Reading Borough Council, commented: “While the new bridge looks fantastic during the day, at night it provides a carpet of light for the area, with an imaginative array of colours and movement, particularly at the top of the central mast.”

Schréder was contracted by Balfour Beatty and worked closely with project engineer Peter Brett Associates to create the installation. Scott Witchalls, partner at Peter Brett Associates, said: “Schréder’s lighting design for the bridge is really very striking, but also practical, and will help to encourage regular use of this iconic structure by pedestrians and cyclists; contributing to more sustainable travel in Reading.”

A specialist installation team from Schréder fitted the LED handrail and colour change feature lighting onto the bridge, which was manufactured by Hollandia. Schréder worked in conjunction with Hollandia to ensure compatibility with the lighting equipment, as the installation involved complex design considerations, including creating a bespoke system to fit the LED handrail onto the curvature of the bridge and enable the handrail to flex with the movement of the suspension bridge.

In addition to the LED handrail, Urbis Schréder installed a series of its SCULP floodlights to illuminate the bridge, including one placed in the middle of the ‘tuning fork’ at the top of the 40 metre high-mast. Schréder has also installed a colour-changing lighting display around the rest of the bridge, which includes 28 of its Enyo LEDs, running up the suspension cables, two Noctis 225 LED floodlights recessed beneath the bridge to illuminate the underside, and flexible LED strips underneath two ‘floating’ benches located on the bridge.

Nick Cruse, operations director, Schréder, said: “The new LED handrail for the bridge was a complicated installation, with 231 individual sections manufactured and assembled on site and several key design elements inherent in the bridge’s structure.”

The adaptability of the pre-programmed Digital Multiplex (DMX) controller Urbis Schréder supplied with its LED lighting scheme allows Reading Council to run a new lighting display every day. The LED handrail is connected to Reading Borough Council’s Mayflower central management system (CMS), which it uses to control the majority of its public lighting.    

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