Canary Wharf to Rotherhithe Thames crossing consultation welcomed by Sustrans

Walkers with Canary Wharf in background
8 November 2017

Sustrans have welcomed the news that Transport for London have launched a consultation on the options for a new cycling and walking river crossing in East London. 

The consultation closes on the 8 January 2018 and asks for views on the type of crossing and its location.

In March 2016 Sustrans published a detailed feasibility study into a bridge for walking and cycling across the Thames, between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. This led to Transport for London adopting the project and a commitment from the Mayor to accelerate progress.

Cliff Matsuya, Business Support Manager for Sustrans in London, said:

"A bike bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf would provide the cheap, clean and healthy journeys Londoners need - connecting communities, jobs and opportunities on both sides of the river Thames.

“Our study showed that an easy access bridge would be used by thousands of Londoners everyday – offering a quick and convenient way to cross the river in the open air.

"We urge Londoners to have their say through this consultation to maintain momentum behind the bridge.”

Sustrans’ feasibility study suggested that the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists could be built in four years, subject to land and funding.

What we think on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Crossing consultation:

  • We support a navigable bridge
  • We support the central or northern alignments
  • We believe a lower crossing is preferable for walking and cycling
  • We believe the bridge’s success depends on high quality cycling routes

We support a navigable bridge – the best option to unlock walking and cycling across the river, easiest to access, free to use 24 hours a day, free of exhaust fumes and in the open air.

We support a ‘central or northern alignment’ – we know a bridge can’t be on a bend in the river because of turning ships, which limits the options. There are three locations presented in the consultation. Westferry Circus is higher than other landing options, which would mean shorter, easier access ramps on one side –potentially a quicker more convenient option. Landing on the Impound Lock was the only preferred option in our study as it was the only option which met the Port of London Authority’s needs for river traffic, has the necessary space, and as close as possible to the optimum crossing points. Further south at West India Dock (Cuba Street) would require lifts, adding time to journeys, crowding at peak times and ultimately reducing the number of people that would use the crossing.

We believe a lower crossing that doesn’t open too often is achievable – the lower the bridge, the easier to access, cycle and walk across. We believe river navigation can become more efficient, reducing the amount of times the bridge would need to open to let ships pass. Support for a lower bridge will give TfL a clear mandate to negotiate on this with the Port of London Authority.
The bridge’s success depends upon high-quality cycling routes linking it to Cycle Superhighway 4 in the south, Cycle Superhighway 3 in the north, and the wider network.

The consultation closes on Monday 8 January 2018: Respond to the consultation now

Find out more about Sustrans work to bridge the gap in East London