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Mayor of London open to Canary Wharf cycle bridge – asks whether it’s “a sort of curly-wurly Fisher-Price thing”

‘Brunel Bridge’ was first proposed by Sustrans in 2006

At Mayor’s Question Time on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked Boris Johnson whether he would consider supporting the construction of a bridge across the Thames for pedestrians and cyclists linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf. Johnson agreed there should be a crossing in that area and invited Sustrans to speak to his team.

The bridge – originally referred to as the Brunel Bridge – was originally mooted in 2006 and Transport for London (TfL) and Sustrans approached engineering consultants Ramboll to investigate feasibility. The scheme was not followed through by TfL but Sustrans has remained keen.

Ramboll identified the site at Durand’s Wharf due to its proximity to housing, existing transport links and cycle networks. However, the Thames sees heavy traffic in this area, which demands a high bridge which can open for the passage of large cruise ships.

Ramboll said of their design: “The approach ramps are configured in a helical design to facilitate a gradual 12m rise from shore to deck, allowing cyclists to remain in the saddle

Johnson apparently envisaged something similar: “Is it a sort of curly-wurly Fisher-Price thing?”

He then suggested that a catapult could be used. Pidgeon said that Sustrans is to launch a competition for designs for a new bridge and suggested that Johnson could submit his catapult suggestion for consideration.

Pidgeon said that such a bridge would increase cycling and provide a needed river crossing as well as reducing overcrowding on the Jubilee line. Johnson was cautious but open-minded and invited Sustrans to come and speak to his team.

“Please tell them to come in as soon as possible and we’ll take a look at it. I’m always interested in that type of scheme. I do agree there should be a crossing in that area – let’s see what they’re proposing.”

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fluffy_mike | 9 years ago

A cycling-walking bridge in East London was a serious prospect around the time Boris became Mayor...

However, he ditched the idea in favour of the Airline cable car, which nowadays ferries a few of tourists each day from nowhere to nowhere

I support Boris' latest Superhighway plans wholeheartedly, but that decision was a shocking misallocation of public funds

A V Lowe | 9 years ago

I think by Rotherhithe, you actually mean Deptford, perhaps from Surrey Quays, where the Surrey canal (dead but stubbornely still very present) joined the Thames.

I'd suggest a tunnel based on cutting a slot in the mud & dropping in sections, as for the BART tunnels and other tunnelling in silts and clay under water and use the Surrey Quays basin for the approaches and the Millwall Dock on the opposite bank. Less issue with height then.

If the system can be refined a system to put in pedestrian-cycle tunnels the length of the river running over clay & silt offers immense opportunities.

Rotherhithe Tunnel itself (and Limehouse Link) need to be made more cycleable - or the bus service restored - carrying bikes (much cheaper than a bridge.....)

Colin Canski | 9 years ago

No bridge needed. Simply extend the Greenwich foot tunnel so cyclists can ride in and out at either end.

A hell of a lot cheaper than building a footbridge we don't need.

And remove the antiquated 'No Cycling' signs.

racyrich | 9 years ago

What it needs is a moving handrail, like an escalator's, that less fit riders can hold onto on the ascent.

bikebot | 9 years ago

It already sounds a lot more useful than the oversized flower pot that Joanna Lumley wants to build.

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