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Network Rail Ribbon Footbridge

United Kingdom

Network Rail Ribbon Footbridge

United Kingdom


Network Rail



Design Team

Knight Architects, Arup

Improving passenger experience from the ground up

Network Rail is developing a catalogue of signature footbridge designs that improve both the passenger experience and the aesthetic quality of new station footbridges.

Informed by Network Rail’s ‘Principles of Good Design’, the design team developed a solution which seeks to enhance the comfort, safety and legibility of a station footbridge whilst offering an inclusive, enjoyable experience for all. By rotating the lift shaft through 30-degrees, the design offers significantly improved visibility of the lift from views along the platform, presenting an equal experience for both lift and stair users alike. This critical element of the design was developed in close collaboration with Network Rail’s accessibility panels, stakeholder groups and the Design Council. Unlike traditional sealed overbridges, the canopy and deck are separated into two independent ‘ribbons’ allowing the sheltered, open-air user experience to flow seamlessly between platforms.

The design provides a simple yet recognisable solution that brings consistency across the UK rail network. However, in its geometry and materiality, it also provides Contractors and their Designers with flexibility to adapt to a variety of site conditions and contexts, relating to local character while remaining visually part of the wider rail identity.

The first iteration of the Ribbon Footbridge has been planned at Dawlish Station as part of the coastguards to colonnades sea defence improvement works.