Rotherhithe Bridge News

This is a timeline of news items. To save space,  we show selective quotations;  see the original source for the complete article quoted.

14 Jan 2020 Letter to the Mayor

Dear Mayor

On 4 October 2016 you were quoted as stating that this bridge would go ahead with potential delivery during 2020

We think you will agree that there is a huge and embarrassing gap between this statement and reality because not only has TfL failed to deliver,  it has wasted several years and £13M going around in circles achieving nothing – and even after all that effort we understand the proposed design isn’t even approved by the PLA.

The cancellation of the bridge was eventually driven by the headline worst case costing of £602M,  which looks to many more like a politically expedient device to cancel the project than a genuine costing exercise.

By our estimates,  the £602M figure contains £428M of bloat,  as illustrated on our website:

We also state 12 compelling reasons why a ferry is not an adequate alternative – a position amply supported by TfL’s own evaluations which originally eliminated the ferry in favour of a bridge.

We would like to propose the following:

  • Start afresh. Engage independent bridge experts to generate realistic costings and then give the unconditional go-ahead for delivery in a minimum timeframe such as you originally envisaged
  • It is evident to us from TfL’s handling of large projects (Crossrail, the garden bridge and this bridge – all of which could be regarded as debacles) that a different approach is now needed and we propose that you take control by engaging an independent delivery team of engineers and contractors from the private sector to deliver the bridge with TfL only providing a minimal procurement interface.

We need a “can do attitude” to deliver this iconic and economically vital green transport link – to borrow a phrase: “lets get the bridge done”

7 January 2020 – David Rowe, TfL

Head of Major Projects Sponsorship, Surface Transport

In response to a draft of our new front page where we request his response to that and a number of specific questions:

On the specific points you have raised:

  • Inflation and risk – TfL first calculates costs in ‘real’ base year prices and then applies a risk allowance reflecting the maturity of the design and complexity of the project.  Inflation is then applied to the base year prices and risk allowance, as both are subject to price rises over the period that the scheme would be constructed. The referenced table is only a summary of the estimate and I can assure you that inflation has not been double counted.
  • Inflation – construction indices take account of forecast changes in market conditions, availability of specialist labour and other matters and do not simply follow general inflation (for example, the indices forecast a significant rise in construction inflation post the Brexit transition period).  The inflation indices used by TfL are largely taken from those published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveys (RICS) – details of which were sent to you on 13 August 2019 by my colleague Katie-Jane Moorhouse.
  • Cost ranges – applying a range to estimated outturn costs reflects the fact that as the development of a scheme progresses the certainty over scope, requirements and costs increases (i.e. the range narrows as a scheme matures).  It would not be appropriate to simply rely on a ‘point estimate’ for a scheme at this stage of development.  The ranges applied for the bridge reflect the feedback we gathered from industry based on experience of delivering similar types of schemes from across the world.

In summary, TfL has a robust cost estimating process, which follows the principles accepted and applied by other major clients and market leaders in our sector. We have robustly engaged with the market to ensure the estimate is as robust as it can be for the stage of development. Our focus now is on the development of a ferry as a more cost effective and quicker solution to significantly improve cross river connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists between the Rotherhithe peninsula and Isle of Dogs. We will be engaging with the local community as we develop this scheme and I will make sure the team arrange a meeting directly with you to discuss the ferry proposals.

24 June 2019 – Press Release from Caroline Pidgeon

Dropping plans for a River Thames cycle and pedestrian bridge is further evidence of the Mayor’s wrong priorities – Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the decision made at the end of last week by the Deputy Mayor for Transport to drop the plans for a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf  said:

“This is another disappointing decision exposing the Mayor’s wrong priorities.  A bridge linking Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf would enable thousands of cleaner and healthier journeys to be made each day.  It would hugely benefit people in Rotherhithe, but also people living in the north of Lewisham and Greenwich.

“Incredibly the decision was released at the end of a week which also saw the Major defend a new Silvertown road tunnel under the Thames which will inevitably create more traffic and pollution.

“This latest decision also comes just a week after the Mayor removed the RV1 bus linking both sides of the Thames.

“In London the signalling on the Piccadilly Line needs to be upgraded and the Bakerloo Line extended to Lewisham and beyond.  Yet instead of prioritising these transport improvements and a walking and cycling link across the Thames, the Mayor is choosing to spend £1 billion on a road tunnel.”

“His rhetoric on air pollution and climate change is not matched by his decision to build a new road tunnel in London.”

21 June 2019 – Editors note

We today received two different communications from TfL – rather confusingly saying the same thing in a different way:

21 June 2019 – Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Crossing: Project Update (2)

Received by email from TfL:

Dear Stakeholder

You have previously responded to a consultation on, or shown an interest in the proposed new pedestrian and cycle crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. I would like to update you that having now investigated the potential for a bridge in greater detail we have decided to pause our work on this option, as we do not believe it is affordable at this time.

We still believe there remains a strong case for a new river crossing for pedestrians and cyclists between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to relieve congestion on existing transport links, encourage more active travel and support growth in the Canada Water and Isle of Dogs Opportunity Areas.  We will therefore now be exploring options for a new fast ferry service to provide an improved route across the river for pedestrians and cyclists.

We have carried out a substantial amount of complex and in-depth work to develop proposals for a bridge in this location following consultation and engagement with stakeholders. This would be a world-first piece of infrastructure and we now have a high-quality design, detailed procedures for how it would operate and plans for how it could be built.

As we have developed this complex scheme however, it has become clear that the cost will be substantially greater than we originally anticipated. Further, we have been unable to identify any other substantial funding sources. Given the continued pressure on TfL’s finances we do not believe the bridge will be affordable at this time.  We will take our work on design, construction and operational plans to a logical end point to ensure that this can be reviewed and picked up again in the future.

We will provide a further update once our proposals for a ferry service have progressed. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours faithfully

David Rowe

Head of Major Projects Sponsorship

Transport for London

21 June 2019 – Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Crossing: Project Update (1)

Received by email from TfL:

You may have seen that today the Deputy Mayor has written to the Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee to inform her that we will be pausing our work developing a new bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, as we do not believe it is affordable at this time.

As a more affordable short-term solution we will now be exploring options for a new ferry service as an alternative river crossing in this location. While we still believe a bridge to be the best solution in the long-term, a ferry would provide an improved route across the river for pedestrians and cyclists. This would help to support good growth in the area and, alongside our wider investment in new cycling infrastructure in this part of London, increase the share of trips made by sustainable travel in line with the Mayor’s aim for 80 per cent of Londoners’ trips to be on foot, by cycle or by public transport by 2041.

We have carried out a substantial amount of in-depth work to develop proposals for a bridge in this location following consultation and engagement with stakeholders. This would be a world-first piece of infrastructure and we now have a high-quality design, detailed procedures for how it would operate and plans for how it could be built. As we have developed this complex scheme however, it has become clear that the cost would be substantially greater than we originally anticipated. Further, we have been unable to identify any other substantial funding sources. Given the continued pressure on TfL’s finances we do not believe the bridge will be affordable at this time.  We will take our work on design, construction and operational plans to a logical end point to ensure that this can be reviewed and picked up again as soon as possible once a full funding package is identified.

I am grateful for the time and support we have received from you and I hope we can continue to work positively together to progress this scheme. We will provide a further update once our proposals for an enhanced ferry service have progressed, but if you have any queries or would like to meet to discuss this decision please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards


Head of Major Projects Sponsorship

Transport for London

2 March 2018 – Open Letter to the Mayor

We* have sent an open letter to the Mayor, copying in a number of other key figures, summarised as follows:

“We strongly urge TfL to include the existing bridge design by reForm/Elliott Wood in an independent assessment exercise, alongside alternative designs developed by TfL’s chosen team. This will be to demonstrate that best design and value have been achieved for this important project.”

Click for full text


Neil Coyle – Labour MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

Jim Fitzpatrick – Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse

Caroline Pidgeon MBE – Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member & Deputy Chair of Transport Committee

Sir Simon Hughes – President of the London Region Liberal Democrats

Caroline Russell – Green Party London Assembly Member & Transport Spokesperson for the Green Group

Damian O’Brien – Liberal Democrat Councillor for Grange Ward, SE1

Sian Berry –Green Party London Assembly Member

Mike Davies CBE – Founding partner Richard Rogers and Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners

Will Hurst – Managing Editor, The Architects’ Journal

Paul Finch OBE – Editorial Director, The Architectural Review

Walter Menteth – Project Compass (Independent procurement guidance)

Kay Hughes – Khaa (Independent procurement specialists)

Norman Taylor – Avocet (Independent construction procurement advisors)

Dr Richard Shuttlewood – Brunel Bridge (Independent local campaign group)

Ms Vera Jajechnyk (Head of School – St John’s Catholic School Rotherhithe)

Barry Duckett – Chair of Rotherhithe Festival & Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum


Val Shawcross – Deputy Mayor of London for Transport

Mike Brown – Commissioner of Transport for London

*This was a joint effort with other organisations so we use “we” in the loosest sense

28 February – Letter from Caroline Pidgeon AM

In a significant intervention regarding the status of the ReForm/Elliott-Wood bridge,  Carolyne Pidgeon has written a letter to a legal officer at TfL

Main Points:

  • Supporting an open procurement process – which we don’t currently have
  • Concern that the ReForm/Elliott-Wood bridge has been excluded
  • Concern about the process
  • Challenging assumptions/assertions in the Arcadis report
  • Calling for the Arcadis report to be published in the interests of transparency

Read the full text of the letter here

Editors comment

We completely support this excellent letter from Caroline Pidgeon,  whose tireless work is an inspiration to us all,  and a model for less diligent politicians.

We consider it completely unacceptable that the Arcadis report,  which had been paid for with our money, and relates to a public matter,  should be shrouded in secrecy.  In the interests of transparency this must be puplished.

19 February 2018 – We meet with TfL for discussions

Topics included:

  • Bridge type
  • Location/alignment
  • The status of the ReForm/Elliott-Wood bridge
  • Processes and scheduling

We are waiting for approval from TfL before we issue a release

February 2018 – Rumours Circulating

We are hearing rumours that consultants working for TfL are recommending against a bascule bridge (ie a bridge which pivots up,  balanced by a counterweight of some sort).  The ReForm/Elliott Wood design which recently attracted 93% support in our poll WOULD THEREFORE BE EXCLUDED.  We would strongly question why this very popular design should be excluded in favour of a lift or swing bridge at this early stage.

If these rumours are true,  then TfLs current preclusion of the reForm / ElliottWood design, and their abject refusal to evaluate it, is as indefensible an example of negative discrimination as the Garden Bridge was an example of positive discrimination and we urge TfL to reconsider.

The different bridge types are discussed here:

8 January 2018 – Consultation Response from Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon’s full response is available here: Rotherhithe Bridge consultation

Key Points:

  • Strongly supportive.  Caroline is a long time supporter of the bridge, as are the Liberal Democrats locally (Simon Hughes was involved at an early stage)
  • Consolidates the justification for the bridge
  • Supports 24hr access
  • Supports segregation between cyclists and pedestrians
  • Preference for the Northern crossing (Nelsons Dock)
  • Must be of high architectural standard and pleasing to the eye
  • Overall solution should include CS4 superhighway and the introduction of the cycle hire scheme to Rotherhithe and Bermondsey

This is all very much in accord with our views and we are grateful for Caroline’s enthusiastic support

Source:  email to The Editor

9 November 2017 – Evening Standard

Plans unveiled for new river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to reduce Jubilee line crowding

9 November 2017 – TfL announces next steps,  public consultations

See here for more information:

30 October 2017 – team meets TfL

Wide ranging discussing were held,  looking at the next steps and new ideas.  Agreed to hold off puplication until TfL publicity on consultations is released

Aug 2017 Press Release from TfL

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London (TfL), said: “We are currently exploring a number of options for a new crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, which will provide a much-needed walking and cycling connection between the two areas. We expect to undertake the competitive procurement process for a design and build partner in the autumn.”

Additional Information

  • TfL has established a project team to take forward the crossing and over the past year, work has progressed at pace on developing options, surveys, demand modelling, procurement, business case development, funding, planning consents, land requirements and engagement with stakeholders.
  • TfL recently appointed Arcadis, following a full procurement process, to develop designs and support the project team at this stage. Arcadis are a renowned engineering and design consultancy with international experience in delivering pedestrian and cycle crossings and are working with Knight Architects and other specialist suppliers to ensure the development of a cost-effective scheme.
  • TfL will appoint a design and build partner to support subsequent stages. This procurement process is expected to commence in the autumn and will be open to all suitable suppliers, including ReForm.

Source:  Email to the Editor

15 August 2017 – Rotherhithe Bridge added to A-Z mapping

Source:  @AZdigitalmaps on twitter

11 Aug 2017 – Mayors Question Time

“Welcome news that Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge is on track”

Assurances that the much needed pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf is on schedule and could be open to the public by 2020 or 2021 were obtained by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, at August’s Mayor’s Question Time.

The Mayor also confirmed that he expects major landowners in the nearby area, who will benefit from the bridge, to contribute to the project, alongside funding from TfL.

Following today’s Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The case for the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf pedestrian and cycle bridge is stronger than ever. It will play a key role in supporting the new housing and employment that is growing on both sides of the Thames, as well as helping to reduce pressure on the Jubilee Line, especially at Canada Water.

“In the past London has seen too many infrastructure projects held up. This is one project that really must be delivered on time.”

14 March 2017 MIPIM – Cannes

This view of the 3D London model shows the bridge  proposed by reForm/Elliott Wood (

3 March 2017 TfL Press Office

Alex Williams, Acting Managing Director of Planning at TfL, said:

“The tendering for a design and build contract for the bridge will begin later this year as planned. The Mayor is fully committed to delivering a new pedestrian and cycling crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf and following successful market engagement last year with around 50 companies from across the world, we are now working towards the next phase of the procurement process.”

Source:  email to the Editor

3 Feb 2017 The Wharf

Caroline Pidgeon comments on overcrowding on the Jubilee Line and at Canada Water in The Wharf Newspaper:

“Overall the number of delays caused by overcrowding has tripled between 2012 and 2016, according to figures obtained by London Assembly transport committee chair Caroline Pidgeon.”

“She particularly highlighted the interchange between the London Overground and the Jubilee line at Canada Water as a vulnerable spot, which further strengthens the case for the Canary Wharf to Rotherhithe cycle bridge, to which the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is committed”


19 October 2016 Mayors Question Time – 2016/3795

Question from Keith Prince AM: How much will it cost to build the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge?
Written response from the Mayor:

Work to assess the feasibility of the bridge is at an early stage and the cost is very much dependent on the design of the bridge, which this work will inform. In addition, to help determine the costs, market engagement will start in the next few weeks. This will be followed by a competitive procurement for the design, which will start by the end of
the year. Implementation costs will be provided as part of this work.

19 October 2016 Mayors Question Time – 2016/3796

Question from Keith PrinceAM: How will the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge be funded?

Written response from the Mayor:

I have asked TfL to investigate a number of funding options over the coming months. Potential options include TfL funding, commercial partnerships, business and individual contributions, advertising and sponsorship as well as developer funding.

4 October 2016 – Caroline Pidgeon: Pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf is London’s most needed river crossing

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor’s announcement today about proposed East London river crossings said:

“Having long supported and campaigned for the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf pedestrian and cycle bridge I am delighted that the Mayor is now committed to accelerating this project.”

“This is London’s most needed river crossing.  It will enable thousands of people to cross the Thames by bike or foot in a part of London where it practically impossible to do so at present.”

“I cannot think of any other proposed river crossing that will deliver such huge benefits for so little public money.  The bridge will also play a critical role in reducing pressure on the overcrowded Jubilee Line, especially between Surrey Docks and Canary Wharf.”

4 October 2016 – Mayor says the bridge will be going ahead. To be delivered by 2020


“…. The Mayor has also asked for the acceleration of the new pedestrian and cycling bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf – a key manifesto commitment. The new bridge will make it easier for people south of the river to link to Cycle Superhighway 3 – the East-West Cycle Superhighway – as well as provide people north of the river better access to the Thames Path and planned cycle routes throughout Southwark.

Due to the range of river traffic at this location, the bridge would need to open for shipping, and TfL has carried out analysis on whether a bascule or swing style bridge could be more suitable. A competitive procurement process will be held next year and subject to funding, availability of land and relevant approvals, the new bridge could be open by as soon as 2020.”

Press Release:

20 September 2016 – 5 London MPs back the bridge (Evening Standard)

Go ahead with the Rotherhithe bridge

WE APPLAUD the Mayor’s backing for the proposed cycling and pedestrian bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. In his manifesto, Sadiq Khan pledged to “break down some of the city’s physical barriers” with the bridge — now we want to see what progress has been made in moving forward with its construction. There are 32 bridges across the Thames in London to the west of Tower Bridge but only one to the

east. This proposal will bridge the gap between our constituents north and south of the river, enabling thousands of trips a day while also easing overcrcrowding on the Jubilee line. We believe the proposed bridge could be buildable by 2020 but we must make progress now. London Labour MPs Heidi Alexander, Neil Coyle, Jim Fitzpatrick, Vicky Foxcroft and Matthew Pennycook

18 September 2016 – Local MP Neil Coyle on BBC Sunday Politics

I am working with Sadiq on the Rotherhihe Bridge and other infrastructure development within the constituency

13 September 2016 – Further support from Sadiq Khan

Caroline Pidgeon AM,  who is a strong and very active supporter of the bridge,  received this message from the Mayor:

As set out in my manifesto, I am committed to taking this scheme forward. Transport for London is currently reviewing the work previously undertaken by Sustrans on the levels of demand, technical feasibility and funding options for delivering a pedestrian and cycling bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. This work is important to ensure that the scheme which progresses delivers value for money and also satisfies the relevant planning processes. TfL is working closely with the Port of London Authority to assess the effect of fixed infrastructure in this location on shipping.

I have asked TfL for the outcome of their work in the autumn to enable an early decision to be made on the next steps. Any procurement of design will be undertaken in a completely transparent way with full engagement with the market.

21 July 2016 – New London Architecture Peoples’ Choice Award

A well deserved win for the ReForm/Elliot Wood design (

“The Peoples Choice winner celebrates the will of two communities to have a link across the river. Receiving an overwhelming number of votes from those two neigbourhoods and those further afield, the new bridge would become one of the first bridges east of Tower Bridge. The scheme was praised by voters for its green credentials and innovation, with ‘references to London’s heritage as a 21st century Tower Bridge’ whilst being ‘highly functional; enhancing communications and facilitating work and community links'”

20 July 2016 – We meet Caroline Pidgeon AM

Members of the community discussed the proposed bridge with Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.  We are very pleased to have Caroline’s support.

22 June 2016 – Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Community Council

Councillors commented that the proposed new bridge, connecting Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, had cross party support and that it was a better use of public money than the garden bridge proposed for elsewhere in London. Councillors asked that this view be made clear to the new Mayor of London.

17 June 2016 – Article in CITYA.M.

“Cyclists need a new Thames bridge to Canary Wharf – and you can help fund it”

This article bt Matt Winfield, London Director of Sustrans,  promotes the benefits of the bridge and raises the topic of whether the City should help with funding

13 June 2016 – Sadiq Khan Interview with the Metro newspaper

“Were there any ideas during the [Mayoral electon] campaign which you thought you could adopt?”

London Mayor:  “Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon had this idea of a cycle bridge around Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf which I think is cracking so I am running with that”

25 May 2016 – Mayor’s Question Time

[Editors Note: Caroline Pidgeon has always been highly supportive of the bridge and we are very grateful to have her on side.  She asks very good questions,  consolidating the Mayor’s committment and pushing for progress.  The Mayor in turn is also very supportive and we feel this exchange is a big step forward.  Although we know a lot of local residents are supportive of the ReForm/ElliottWood design,  the Mayor is clearly constrained by procurement issues]

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:
When will the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge be open?

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):

“Can I congratulate you on your reelection?  Firstly, I will say what a great project this is. It points to the future of river crossings in London.  It is a fantastic opportunity to give this part of London a much-needed new pedestrian and cycling crossing.

I made a commitment, as you are aware, in my manifesto to deliver the major infrastructure that London needs for the long term, including new river crossings for east London.  These crossings should benefit and regenerate the communities that need it the most.  They should include cycling, walking and public transport options and
help to break down the physical barriers that can alienate parts of the city.  The bridge will relieve pressure on the Jubilee line at Canada Water and will offer a huge boost for new jobs and homes, while promoting greener and safer ways of crossing the Thames on foot and by bike. I have tasked TfL with progressing this project.  That work is taking place now and in due course I will be able to set out in more detail, including a projected opening date.”

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:

“Thank you very much and congratulations on your election as Mayor.
I am strongly committed to this bridge and I am really delighted to hear your words today and your support in writing in your manifesto and at the London Cycling Campaign hustings.  However, I really feel that to deliver this we need more than just words. You said you have asked TFL to progress this project.  In that instruction, have you asked TfL to bring forward a really clear plan on how it can build this quickly, fund it in the most cost-effective way – I think there is private sector money that can fund this – and perhaps use companies that are already approved as part of TfL’s own framework to build it as quickly as possible?”

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):

“Chairman, there are lots of good ideas in that question.  I am not sure if I am allowed to say that.  We need to establish the right solution first and some options could be delivered more quickly than others.  The work that I have asked TfL to undertake will consider the timescales for the different options to see how quickly we can deliver the improvements. Just in case you are concerned that there is already a design out there, it is just one design.  I want to make sure that we achieve the best value through fair and transparent procurement processes.  The current bridge concept is a complex design challenge with a record-breaking span, which will result in high costs.  We need to ensure that we have the most cost-effective design and I have tasked TfL to do that work.”

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:

“This really is pressing for me.  Unlike the Garden Bridge, it has a strong transport case.  You have mentioned the Jubilee line pressures, particularly at peak hours in the morning.  Rotherhithe’s roads are highly congested.  With new developments planned in the area, we are expecting the number of people using the Jubilee line to double up to 2020, and so I really want to accelerate this project. I understand from talking to experts that using the work we have already carried out to date, the bridge could go through planning, design and build within around four years.  … Will you guarantee that in the next couple of months you will publish the information from TfL and progress this urgently?”

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):

“…  Just so that we are clear, I am going to learn the lessons of procurement failures.  There is just one design out there now.  Some of the things we need to look at are procurement, design and speed.  Timescales are very important.  How we pay for it is very important.  For obvious reasons, I want to do that as soon as I can.”

24 May 2016

Further good news is that Valarie Shawcross has been appointed Deputy Mayor for Transport.  Valerie is a strong supporter of the bridge and was previously Chair of the Transport Committee

23 May 2016

ReForm architects and elliottwood did an impressive presentation of their proposed bridge ( at the Canada Water Consultative Forum which was very well received.  There was a lively Q&A session and it was clear there was 100% support and a huge amount of enthusiasm for the project.

The question whether it would be acceptable for a bridge at that location to be tolled was met with universal rejection.  There can be no possibily that having waited so long for a bridge we should be penalised by having the only tolled bridge in London!

In the hustings for the election of a Councillor for the Surrey Quays ward at Southwark Council all candidates expressed strong support for the bridge.

19 May 2016  Southwark News

“Rotherhithe Sustrans bike bridge plan gathers pace after Neil Coyle meets charity”

“MP Neil Coyle met with the charity Sustrans on Thursday May 12 to discuss how plans for the bridge could be moved forward. The proposed £88m project would see a pedestrian and bike bridge built by 2020 and slash commutes by twenty minutes.

MP Neil said: “With a new Mayor [Sadiq Khan], his sole focus on London and his new energy for the role, I hope to see the commitment to the Rotherhithe bridge delivered.”

Rotherhithe Sustrans bike bridge plan gathers pace after Neil Coyle meets charity

13 May 2016

We are delighted to note that Caroline Pidgeon is elected Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.  This is especially good news for our campaign because Caroline is noted for her high level of diligence and committment,  and is one of the most significant and enthusiasic supporters of the bridge.

13 May 2016

TFL releases document “Delivering Your Manifesto” – includes the bridge in the Mayors plans for the next four years:

6 May 2016

We are delighted to see Sadiq Khan elected as Mayor of London.  Sadiq’s campaign included specific pledges supporting the bridge and we are optimistic that this brings the project a lot nearer to reality.

24 March 2016 Southwark News

“Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge proposal could slash commutes by 20 minutes”

The number of journeys saved by the use of the bridge is estimated at around fifteen full tube trains or 150 buses a day,

Quoting from the Sustrans Feasilility Study

Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge proposal could slash commutes by 20 minutes

21 March 2016

Cycle bridge to Canary Wharf could empty 15 Tube trains – “The Wharf” Newspaper

“A new cycle bridge between Canada Water and Canary Wharf could empty 15 Tube trains of passengers and slash journey times across the river, according to a feasibility study.

Unlike the Garden Bridge, a link between Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs has found favour with politicians of all hues and Chancellor George Osborne highlights the scheme in his National Infrastructure Plan in 2014.

The study said a bridge would see 10,200 cycle journeys and 3,000 walking journeys a day – the equivalent to 160 full buses of passengers.”

March 2016

Sadiq Khan makes this manifesto pledge:

“I will… Work to break down some of the city’s physical barriers, such as by backing the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycle and pedestrian bridge”

March 2016

The Sustrans Feasibility Study is released.  For more information click here

November 2015

New TFL publications referring to the proposed bridge:

“The potential for a new connection to link two major growth areas has been identified between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

Rotherhithe is expecting significant housing growth, with over 4,000 new homes planned for Canada Water. Canary Wharf is one of London’s key employment sites, where over 100,000 new jobs are expected by 2036.

The Jubilee line, currently the only link between these key growth areas, is close to capacity.

Providing a new direct pedestrian and cycle crossing between these growing residential and employment areas would encourage more people living in south London to walk and cycle to Canary Wharf, potentially reducing the number of passengers using the busy Jubilee line”

Document: Connecting the capital

Map of proposed crossings

27 October 2015 – Boris Johnson on #askboris

“still in negotiations but we love the scheme”

18 June 15 Sustrans Press Release

See the press release for more details

Sustrans is moving ahead with advance feasibility plans to build a fully accessible, 24 hour bridge for walkers and cyclists across the River Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe. Transport for London (TfL) has granted funding of £170,000, matched with £30,000 from businesses in the area, for Sustrans to investigate the potential of the new bridge, and their detailed feasibility work is due to be completed in August 2015 [Editors note:  this is now expected in November or December].

Richard de Cani, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning said:

“As London’s population grows towards 10 million people, we need a number of new river crossings to improve connectivity and reduce congestion on existing road and rail services.  A new pedestrian and cycle crossing between the Isle of Dogs and Rotherhithe and Canada Water would encourage more people to walk and cycle to Canary Wharf, improving access to amenities and jobs and providing an alternative to the Jubilee line for shorter trips.  TfL is working with Sustrans and the private sector on developing this proposal by pledging funding towards the first phase of feasibility work.”

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport said:

“More than a third of London’s expected population growth is expected to happen in East London and we urgently need more crossings – for all types of transport users. So we are delighted to be able to offer this funding to help progress Sustrans’ proposed cycling and walking bridge.

18 June 15 Daily Telegraph

In this article,  German Dector-Vega (Director of Sustrans London) announced that Transport for London and local business have joined together to grant Sustrans £200,000 to investigate the potential for a new bridge.

The work is due to complete this summer.

Original Article


3 Jun 15 London Assembly

(Debating the Garden Bridge,  but with references to the Brunel Bridge – highlighted in red)

The London Assembly today voted against the Mayor’s current plans for the Garden Bridge by 11 votes to 3 and called on the Mayor to carry out a full audit of the project’s procurement, and to remove Transport for London (TfL) funding for a project which “serves no transport function”

Significantly, the motion was proposed and seconded by both the Chair and Deputy chair of the Transport Committee,  who both went on to suggest that the Brunel Bridge would be a better option

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM (Deputy Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee), who proposed the motion, said:

“.. and furthermore we should actually withdraw the TFL funding for this project because in is not a transport project and the money should be spent on other projects and other bridges in London such as the Brunel Bridge idea from Rotherhithe to Canary wharf which would have cyclists and pedestrians and has a much better cost:benefit ratio but also has a much greater need and will cost a darn sight less than £175M [estimated cost of the Garden Bridge]…

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM (Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee), who seconded the motion, said:

The suggestion of Rotherhithe is a very good one,  because there is a genuine public demand for a pedestrian cycling crossing in that area

5 Feb 15 – Southwark News

“View from Westminster” by Simon Hughes MP:

“… I have also persuaded government to take seriously the proposal for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge – the Brunel Bridge – between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. For the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians, this will shorten and improve the journey between north and south bank, downstream of Tower Bridge …”

17 Dec 14 – Sustrans – “Talks underway for new Thames Cycle Bridge “

Quoting from

Sustrans is currently working to plan and build a new walking and cycling bridge spanning the River Thames between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

The bridge would be an important transport link across the river – serving residents in Rotherhithe and beyond to their places of work in Canary Wharf, as well as providing a direct route to Stratford and the Olympic Park.

It is hoped that a new design competition will be launched in 2015 in partnership with local MP, Simon Hughes, a longstanding champion of the concept, and other key stakeholders.

Dec 14 – HM Treasury “National Infrastructure Plan 2014”

“An interesting proposal made by Sustrans, and worth looking at in more detail, would be a new pedestrian and cycle bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf – which could be called the Brunel Bridge in tribute to one of the great figures in the history of UK infrastructure”

Dec 14 – British Land proposals “Canada Water Masterplan”

Quote from

“British Land are aware of a range of other aspirations for transport upgrades being discussed in the area and will work with the promoters of these as more detail comes forward. Some of these include: Sustran’s aspirations for a cycle and pedestrian bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf”

18 Nov 14 – Southwark Council Cabinet

Quoted from

Councillor Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport stated [best efforts transcription from a recording]:

“we support the potential pedestrian and cycling bridge between Canary Wharf and the Rotherhithe peninsula and indeed to connect to sustainable transport to the west of the borough”

30 Oct 14 – Southwark News

“A bridge named after the pioneering father and son engineers Marc and Isambard Brunel could be built across the Thames in just four years

Simon Hughes MP and the charity Sustrans are launching an architectural competition to find a design for the bridge

Mr Hughes said “I strongly believe this bridge is one of the best ways in south-east and east London to ease congestion, promote regeneration, encourage environmentally friendly travel and accommodate London’s increasing population”

22 Oct 14 – Mayor’s Question Time

“Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:   [What I am really trying to get your] support for, Mr Mayor, if you will allow me to finish questioning, is that Sustrans is planning to launch a new competition to design this bridge, which it has worked on for some time, from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.  They are calling it the Brunel Bridge.  It would really increase cycling and provide a river crossing where it really is needed and it would potentially help relieve overcrowding on the Jubilee line.  Will you consider supporting this project?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Please tell them to come in as soon as possible and we will have a look at it.

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  You will have a look at it?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am always interested in that type of scheme.  I do agree there should be a crossing in that area.  Let us see what they are proposing.”

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