What is being proposed?
In outline, the proposal is for a pedestrial and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf:
These are the current routes being considered by TfL – see here for more details
Who is driving this?
For many years the bridge has been promoted by ourselves, Sustrans and local political figures – notably Simon Hughes and Caloline Pidgeon.
It now has the full backing of Sadiq Khan and Tfl and is being actively planned.
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
Why the Name “Brunel Bridge”?
The famous father and son engineers, Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel are closely associated with the area, having built the first underwater tunnel (now carrying the Overground line between Rotherhithe and Wapping stations) which was completed in 1843.
Sustrans had proposed the name “Brunel Bridge” for the new bridge, which seemed very appropriate and was supported by us; however it is now more generally referred to as the Rotherhithe Bridge
The bridge had been proposed previously but the process was halted by former Mayor Boris Johnson
For more on the history click here