Bridging the Thames

Watercolour painting showing how the view from Rotherhithe Bridge to Canary Wharf might look as people use Sustrans Bike Bridge

Watercolour painting showing how the view from Rotherhithe Bridge to Canary Wharf might look as people use Sustrans Bike Bridge

Map showing the location of Sustrans Bike Bridge relative to other Thames river bridges in London

Sustrans Bike Bridge will be a real alternative exactly where Londoners need it

Cyclists leave lift into the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, London

The bridge will provide a pleasant alternative to the busy foot tunnel at Greenwich

View from Canary Wharf over the River Thames towards the City of London with construction cranes in the foreground

A view of where the bridge would cross over the river Thames

A schematic map of the River Thames east of Tower Bridge showing proposed locations of future river crossings that Transport for London will develop plans for

The crossing highlighted in Transport for London's strategy for the river (image: TfL)

There's a gap in London and we don't want you to mind it. We want to help you bridge it.

The gap between North and South London

There is a gap between: 

  • the commute Londoners have and the commute they want
  • the air quality our city has and the clean air it needs
  • the number of bridges west of Tower Bridge and the complete lack of bridges east of it
  • where poeple live and where they work
  • the London we have and the livable city we want

 We should also pursue ways of breaching some of London’s physical barriers to cyclists, such as the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycling and pedestrian bridge, which Sustrans are doing a great job of promoting.

- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Londoners want the gap bridged

A YouGov poll that we commissioned showed that over a third (35%) of Londoners back the new walking and cycling bridge, even if it meant less money would be spent on other projects affecting London's road and rail network. The polling also found less than a quarter (24%) of Londoners opposed the traffic-free bridge. This is a bridge Londoners want.

Unlocking thousands of commutes by bike or foot

We've done our homework. This bridge would enable around 13,000 clean commutes by pedestrians and cyclists every day. It will be built where it is needed most, in a bridge free part of our city.

A state of the art bridge - car free, pollution free, and free for all to use. Our aspiration is that the Sustrans Bike Bridge will be backed by private funding for public benefit. Its design will be decided after a truly transparent and fair design competition to get the stunning design our stunning city deserves.

Crossing the river today by bike is a major challenge: watch the video

We looked at the air quality for existing crossings for people on bikes and at what difference a traffic-free crossing could make to people’s health and travel times.

Matt Winfield, Sustrans London Deputy Director, comments:

“We’ve got to bridge the gap between the journeys Londoners have to put up with and the journeys they want and need. A bike bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf could provide the cheap, clean and healthy journeys Londoners need - connecting communities, jobs and opportunities on both sides of the river Thames.

"We worked closely with TfL and other partners on the initial feasibility study. Now we need the Mayor to set out the next steps for its development, including a procurement process that will find an exciting and attractive design."

The Bike Bridge has cross-party political support

Sustrans has demonstrated why a bridge at this location is essential, the first sustainable East London crossing is within our sights. We need to find a stunning design for our world class city to unlock growth, create new housing and jobs and get London walking and cycling.

- Sir Terry Farrell CBE

In September 2016 a group of MPs representing a cross-section of east London signalled their support in a letter to the Evening Standard.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, pledged to, "Work to break down some of the city’s physical barriers, such as by backing the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycle and pedestrian bridge."

The bridge has cross-party support from the London Assembly, including:

What's happening now?

With our study and your support, the Mayor of London has pledged to accelerate the project. A competitive procurement process will be held in 2017 subject to funding, availability of land and relevant approvals. The new bridge could be open by as soon as 2020. Sign-up below to keep up to date.

Get involved this June

Transport for London are hosting the following workshops throughout June 2017 to take on board the views of the local community:

Dockland Settlements Communities Centre, 200 Salter Road, Rotherhithe, SE16 5LJ:

  • Saturday 17th June, 15:00 – 17:30
  • Monday 26th June, 18:30 – 20:30

TfL Westferry Auditorium:

  • Thursday 22nd June
  • Saturday 24th June

Places are limited, and attendees should register for a space by emailing rivercrossings@tfl.gov.uk with your name and postcode and which event you want to attend.

If you have any questions or require further information please contact rivercrossings@tfl.gov.uk

Stay up to date on our campaign for a bridge in East London