What is being proposed?
In outline, the proposal is for a pedestrial and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf:
Two potential routes – neither has any official endorsement.
The feasibility study to be delivered in late 2015 will provide more clarity
Who is driving this?
Sustrans, the charity which promotes sustainable transport by foot, bike or public transport, is key to the new proposals, with strong support from Simon Hughes MP and Caroline Pidgeon (Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee). Support also comes from Mayor Boris Johnson (“I do agree there should be a crossing in that area”), the Environment agency and Sir George Iacobescu (Chairman and CEO of Canary Wharf Group) (Source: Southwark News, 30 Oct 14)
The Brunel Bridge also features in the National Infrastructure Plan and is referenced in British Land’s plans for a huge development in Rotherhithe only a few minutes walk from the proposed bridge
The engineering challenge
The primary challenge is the need to allow passage of river traffic, which includes large ships (large naval vessals, cruise liners etc) visiting the Pool of London (located between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.
Inevitably these vessels take advantage of high tide, exacerbating the height requirement at the bridge
Tower bridge, completed in 1894, provides a combination solution to this challenge, with a lifting bridge at the lower level and a high level walkway.
The objective is for a bridge suitable for pedestrians and cyclists but not for motor traffic; it will connect Durrands Park in Rotherhithe to the impounding lock at Canary Wharf (see the 2012 Sustrans submission here)
Why the Name “Brunel Bridge”?
The famous father and son engineers, Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel are closely associated wit the area, having built the first underwater tunnel (now carrying the Overground line between Rotherhithe and Wapping stations) which was completed in 1843.
Sustrans has proposed the name “Brunel Bridge” for the new bridge, which seems very appropriate and is supportedf by us.
The bridge has been proposed previously – there is clearly a long-term demand
For more on the history click here