Study gives green light to opening London cycle bridge

by Matthew Campelli | 24 Nov 2015

A cyclist-friendly bridge – the first opening structure to be built over the River Thames since Tower Bridge – has moved a step closer following a successful feasibility study.

The proposed development, which would become the first pedestrian and cycle bridge to be built in London, connects Canary Wharf with Rotherhithe.

It was declared “deliverable” by a feasibility study conducted by reForm Architects, Elliott Wood engineers and engineering consultancy Arup.

ReForm developed the design that was considered for the feasibility test – the largest opening ‘bascule’ bridge in the world in terms of span (184m), which would create a completely unobstructed path for even the largest vessels when open.

Expected to cost in excess of £88m ($132m, €124m), the bridge is estimated to take 4-5 years to build, and is being considered as a way to ease the congestion caused by commuters travelling north of the river daily to get to work.

According to Sustrans, the cycling charity that commissioned the study, the bridge would facilitate 2.1m bicycle journeys each year – 10,500 per day - and 1m journeys by foot by 2020.

The new bridge would connect the people of Rotherhithe with a link to the Jubilee Line, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the currently under construction Crossrail.

Transport for London, London Underground, the Port of London Authority and the Canal & River Trust have all been consulted on the design.

Following the feasibility study, the project now needs to secure financial and political backing to continue testing and developing the design.

Nik Randall, managing director of reForm Architects, said the design would create “an internationally recognisable landmark”.

“The bridge is fitting for such a significant location and would deliver tremendous benefits for Londoners,” added Elliott Wood director, Gary Elliott.

Tower Bridge, the last opening bridge to be built over the river, was created in 1894.

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Top teams in running for new London cycling bridge over the Thames

A cyclist-friendly bridge – the first opening structure to be built over the River Thames since Tower Bridge – has moved a step closer following a successful feasibility study. The proposed development, which would become the first pedestrian and cycle bridge to be built in London, connects Canary Wharf with Rotherhithe. It was declared “deliverable” by a feasibility study conducted by reForm Architects, Elliott Wood engineers and engineering consultancy Arup.
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The construction of the bridge is expected to cost in excess of £88m / Keyframe Visuals
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