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East London needs a bike bridge

By Matt Winfield,
Man cycling alongside the river

A bike bridge over the river Thames would be a vital link for many commuters

Two people cycling past the Thames

We need a cycling and walking bridge in east London so people can choose a clean, green commute

family walking alongside the Thames

A bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe is needed to accommodate London's growing population

map of the current bridges over the Thames and Sustrans' proposed bike bridge

We predict that over 13,000 journeys would be made every day across this new bridge

Transport, how we move around London, is one of the greatest challenges facing our growing city.

There is a gap between the transport infrastructure we have and the transport infrastructure we need. We’ve got to find fresh ideas to bridge that gap. An integral part of that is a new bike bridge over the river Thames between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

There is one mode of travel that is undergoing a renaissance in London, one mode that is our best bet to handle London’s growth and unlock the new homes our city needs – the bicycle.

Occupying a fifth of the space of a car, providing door-to-door journeys with major health benefits, we know cycling has a central role in keeping London moving and connecting our growing capital.

I haven’t seen a viable alternative that can be delivered in the timescales required, at the scale required within the resources available.

That means we need infrastructure to support both cycling and walking as London grows. A third of London’s growth to 2030 is set to happen in the east, beyond Tower Bridge. This includes a doubling in the number of jobs on the Isle of Dogs and over 4,000 new homes around Canada Water station.

All of these new homes, jobs and services will need better connectivity. To make this trip today is a choice between a fume filled tunnel, a packed tube train or a pricey ferry.

There is a gap here between the commute these Londoners need and the commute they are forced to make.

This is where London needs a bridge.

We originally identified this location as in need of a crossing when London was chosen to host the Olympics. With support from your donations and our volunteers we began planning a cycling network to connect the Olympic Park to the rest of London. This was a time when cycling wasn’t considered mass transit or worthy of serious investment.

Nearly a decade later cycling is mass transit. 645,000 trips per day are cycled; people on bikes make up the equivalent of 20 percent of tube trips. For the first time there are now more people cycling to work at Canary Wharf than driving. It shows what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time.

This Thames bike bridge will transform connectivity and boost cycling levels across London. We predict that over 13,000 clean journeys, by bike and on foot, would be made every day across this innovative new bridge.

The same number of people would fill 15 tube trains.

It will help London breathe and get Londoners active.

We worked closely with TfL and other partners on the feasibility study to ignite this project and get it to where it is today. Our vision is that it will be driven by private money for public benefit.

Our study has shown significant interest among London’s businesses, this is the bridge that they want to see happen.

In a few years we hope there will be a new choice when crossing the river, a short walk or cycle over a beautifully designed bridge - the quick, clean and healthy alternative.

Now we need London’s new Mayor need to get behind it, and we’ll need your support to get them to.

Help us get London’s bike bridge built. Help us bridge the gap.

Find out more about our proposal for a bike bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

Register your support.

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