We catch up with the pedestrian and cycle bridge to Rotherhithe
Remind me, what’s all this about? There’s a proposal for a bridge between West India Dock Impounding Station on the Isle Of Dogs and Durand’s Wharf in Rotherhithe. Is that where they keep the stray canines? No, the station is actually where the pumps that keep the water in the docks around Canary Wharf at a constant level are located. The location of the bridge would offer Canary Wharf workers an alternative to the Jubilee line for getting across the river. Go on then, I can tell you’re enthusiastic... Too right. There’s a proposal in place from reForm Architects and Elliott Wood engineers to deliver the crossing called, unimaginatively, Rotherhithe Bridge. I’m so happy for you. When will it be built? Ah well, Transport for London is currently studying levels of demand and funding options for the bridge and working with the Port of London Authority on how it would affect and be affected by river traffic. We are getting it, right? Despite reForm putting forward its idea yonks ago, Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan appointed Knight Architects and consultants Arcadis last month to draw up a brief. Next month they’ll begin the process of finding a contractor, which might be reForm. Is it slipping away? Well, not everyone loves it as much as me. Tower Hamlets councillor Andrew Wood is concerned there isn’t the demand. He says residents are concerned it will be too high and could block their views. He also says the bridge could be out-of-action for up to 45 minutes as large ships pass. So I’ll just be sitting there on my bike? Lead architect at reForm Nik Randall, who created the design says that would only happen six times a year and a service could be set up to alert cyclists and pedestrians to closures. He also says the bridge would open less frequently as it will be 20m above the water
(Tower Bridge is 8.6m). Are there other options? A tunnel and an enhanced ferry service are also being considered. Tfl says the ferry would cost the least and be delivered quickest, while the tunnel would cost more. What’s the cost of the bridge? Elliott Wood estimates the construction costs between £88million-£100million. Tower Hamlets Council believes it could be closer to £150million. Phew, that’s a lot. So what’s next? A TfL shortlist of bidders in December, a consultation in January and delivery by 2020 or sooner. Rachel Bishop
When will I be able to cycle over the Thames?
The reForm design