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Government says cycling bridge across Thames to Canary Wharf "worth looking at"

Bridge from Rotherhithe proposed by Sustrans in 2006 highlighted in National Infrastructure Plan

A proposed bridge across the Thames for cyclists and pedestrians between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf is “worth looking at in more detail,” according to the government’s National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), published on Thursday.

Proposals for the bridge were first announced in 2006 by Sustrans. The plan seemed to have been dropped, but recently the sustainable transport charity said it would be launching a competition for a new design.

In October, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, responding to a question from Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, said “I do agree there should be a crossing in that area.”

He also asked her whether the planned crossing is “a sort of curly-wurly Fisher-Price thing?”

The reference to the bridge comes in a section of the NIP that outlines major infrastructure projects in London. It said:

TfL has consulted recently on options for a new river crossing in East London, with options including crossings at Woolwich, Gallions Reach and Belvedere. An interesting proposal made by Sustrans, and worth looking at in more detail, would be a new pedestrian and cycle bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf – which could be called the Brunel Bridge in tribute to one of the great figures in the history of UK infrastructure.

Besides the bridge and mention of the Cycle City Ambition scheme, there is little specific mention of cycling in the NIP, in part because in detailing the pipeline for specific infrastructure projects, it focuses on those with a value of £50 million and above.

Annette Jezierska, Senior Business Development Officer for Sustrans told "Sustrans launched the idea of London's first major, purpose-built cycling and walking bridge over the Thames nearly a decade ago. Since then the city has changed immensely and we feel now more than ever is the time to bring it to life.  We're still at an early stage for the current plans of the "Brunel Bridge" between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, however we'll be discussing our plans, to launch a design competition, with the Mayor's office in December."

"Currently East London is starved of walking and cycling crossings, which is a shame because many trips could be easily completed by foot or bike. The Brunel Bridge would be a hugely important transport link between people's homes in Rotherhithe and the south and places of work in Canary Wharf and the City. This will enable thousands of people to get to work in a healthy and sustainable manner."

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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