A cycle and walking bridge crossing from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf would be a boon to those who travel to Canary Wharf regularly. It would encourage cycling, reduce the burden on one of the busiest stretches of the tube network, and help to regenerate the Southwark/Rotherhithe area.
In the months following the announcement in July 2005 that London was to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Sustrans has been working alongside Transport for London and other organisations to develop GOAL 2012 - Greenways for the Olympics And London.
GOAL 2012 is much more than simply a network of footpaths and cycle routes. GOAL 2012 is an opportunity to reconnect communities across the whole of London, to help people become more physically active and to provide access for Londoners to green space. It will also help meet the London 2012 promise of a truly sustainable, Low Carbon Games.
At the early stages in the development of the GOAL 2012 proposal it became apparent that a new Thames crossing for walkers and cyclists would be needed to link communities in south London to the Olympic Park.
Apart from the imperative of the Olympic Games, the expansion of Canary Wharf, Canada Water and the wider Thames Gateway makes the case for a new bridge at Rotherhithe even more compelling. The Olympic Games has provided the impetus for what could become a major new landmark for London - situated in the heart of one the most dynamic regions in the world.
This first stage report outlines the main advantages and constraints of building a bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe. A key finding is that, despite the technical constraints, an opening bridge for walkers and cyclists could be built in this location. It is also clear that this project will need to move ahead rapidly if it is to be delivered by 2012.
However, with the support of local residents and businesses, and with political support from within London, it is possible for the 2012 deadline to be met.
After the Olympics, Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe Peninsula would be left with a lasting legacy; a legacy that connects communities across the Thames and provides equal access for everyone to jobs and services, and which helps support the sustainable development of the Thames Gateway in particular and London in general.
This scheme is one that LondonUnlocked supports 100%. We need to look at the resources available to us in London to innovate and find new ways to get people and goods moving from A to B. Canada Water, the largest Underground stop in the area, is already phenomenally busy at peak times as it serves Canary Wharf, and given the number of new build apartments springing up in the area, fresh thinking is badly needed.
This is a project which LondonUnlocked will follow closely and keep you updated with. At time of writing a study into raising the money for the bridge is being undertaken, and we hope to be able to report more soon.