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Nine Elms cyclist bridge put on ice by Sadiq Khan

London's new mayor says project needs support from all parties following concerns from local residents on the loss of green space...

A “strategic” walking and cycling bridge has been put on ice by new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, following opposition from local residents over the effect of the structure on the local area.

Last year, Danish architecture and engineering company, Bystrup, won an international competition with Robin Snell Architects to design a new £40m crossing. The bridge, proposed to run between Nine Elms to Pimlico, has proved controversial, though, partly due to a loss of green space under current designs, and Khan has now said the project cannot go ahead without support from all affected authorities.

The London Cycling Campaign says although any "sensible" concerns should be addressed, requiring support from all authorities means anti-cycling boroughs could potentially veto schemes, and the Mayor needs to show leadership on cycling and walking.

New Bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico would be designed with cyclists in mind

In a written answer to a question from Labour assembly member, Andrew Dismore, Khan said: “I understand that residents in the Pimlico area have concerns about the proposal and the impact it could have on the local area.

“No further work is being undertaken by TfL at this time and it is clear that any scheme requires support from all affected authorities.”

Khan added “significant environmental and planning issues would first need to be resolved if the bridge was to progress.”

The prospect of the bridge attracted an 800-strong petition last year, raising concerns over the loss of Pimlico Gardens, one of few green spaces in the area, the loss of trees, and the potential passage of 9000 cyclists and/or pedestrians crossing the bridge daily, “ruining the tranquil character of St George’s Square and causing disruption to residents across Pimlico”. There were also concerns raised over traffic congestion, though the petition does not make clear how motor traffic would be affected by the scheme.  

In his question to the London Mayor, Dismore called the bridge “a highly expensive vanity project” and suggested Vauxhall and Chelsea Bridge are nearby and should be used instead.

Labour councillors Murad Gassanly, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams for the Churchill area, said: “We call upon Wandsworth Council to stop the current project and genuinely engage with the local community.

“Wandsworth could have consulted and worked with local people but from their behaviour it’s obvious they’ve never really wanted to work with communities in Pimlico, but want to force through a bridge which will have a major impact on Pimlico without even genuinely consulting them first.”

Wandsworth Council, who proposed the bridge, said: “We fully recognise the concerns local people and ward councillors in Pimlico have raised and clearly there is a need to build consensus before a strategic transport project like this can progress.

“The bridge is still at an early stage of design development and it has always been the intention to carry out wider consultation and engagement work as the outline proposals takes on a firmer shape. Westminster Council and the Mayor of London will be invited to participate fully in this process we want to ensure as many residents as possible on both sides of the river and across London can have their say.”

Wandsworth Council also says the bridge is one of the most affordable infrastructure schemes in London’s pipeline as they have already secured £25m in private sector funding. It says it is important all sustainable transport schemes are fully explored, given the population pressures and air quality issues the city faces. 

The London Cycling Campaign's Infrastructure Campaigner, Simon Munk, told road.cc: "We’re very keen for more walking and cycling river crossings. And we are aware the Nine Elms proposal faces some opposition from residents and even councils. So we’re keen the Mayor and boroughs move forward rapidly to resolve any sensible issues regarding location, design etc.

"We don’t however agree every scheme needs 'support from all affected authorities' in every case. That risks handing a veto to the few boroughs that are hostile to cycling and walking schemes. It’s vitally important the new Mayor shows leadership in pushing walking and cycling schemes forward, to fulfil his Sign for Cycling pledges – and that is going to mean bringing less willing boroughs to the table rather than waiting for their support."

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14 comments

Avatar
Beecho | 7 years ago
0 likes

Chelsea tractor driving tosspots. This bridge looks amazing. They could even get their au pairs to walk their dogs over it.

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The _Kaner | 7 years ago
0 likes

The Cusco strut brace bridge?

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50kcommute | 7 years ago
3 likes

“No further work is being undertaken by TfL at this time and it is clear that any scheme requires support from all affected authorities.”

....Looks like no more cycling development ever then.

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thereverent | 7 years ago
6 likes

Sadiq Khan talked positively about cycling during the election, but as soon as he gets a bit of NIMBY resistance he folds.

This is a far more useful bridge than the Garden Bridge which is still going ahead.

 

<blockquote>The prospect of the bridge attracted an 800-strong petition (link is external) last year, raising concerns over the loss of Pimlico Gardens, one of few green spaces in the area, the loss of trees, and the potential passage of 9000 cyclists and/or pedestrians crossing the bridge daily, “ruining the tranquil character of St George’s Square and causing disruption to residents across Pimlico”. There were also concerns raised over traffic congestion, though the petition does not make clear how motor traffic would be affected by the scheme. </blockquote>

This is a typical NIMBY petition, a long list of concerns that don't make sense.

Increased pedestrian and cyclists woud cause less disruption to residenst than the current levels of traffic. No idea how the bridge would make traffic congestion worse.

I note it's a Labour member of Westminster Council speaking for the NIMBYs.

Avatar
brooksby | 7 years ago
1 like

"Revenge is a dish best served cold; and the Thames is so very, very cold..."

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Mystery Machine | 7 years ago
3 likes

Well, this doesn't bode well for the promotion of less polluting means of travel in the capital.

The wretched Khan is prepared to back down in the face of the Westminster council NIMBYs who hate anything that doesn't pander to motons, but won't do the decent thing and pull the plug on the waste of TfL funds that is the 'Garden' Bridge.

Much as I hate him for what he's done to the country as a whole, I think cyclists in the capital will miss Boris. At least he was able to face down the enemies in TfL, Canary Wharf etc who were trying to derail the Embankment route.

I currently have no faith that Khan will have anything like the strength of character to do likewise.

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Mystery Machine | 7 years ago
1 like

Mystery Machine wrote:

Well, this doesn't bode well for the promotion of less polluting means of travel in the capital.

The wretched Khan is prepared to back down in the face of the Westminster council NIMBYs who hate anything that doesn't pander to motons, but won't do the decent thing and pull the plug on the waste of TfL funds that is the 'Garden' Bridge.

Much as I hate him for what he's done to the country as a whole, I think cyclists in the capital will miss Boris. At least he was able to face down the enemies in TfL, Canary Wharf etc who were trying to derail the Embankment route.

I currently have no faith that Khan will have anything like the strength of character to do likewise.

 

Err, the people in the mayor's office pointed out that Khan did more for Lonfon in the first couple of weeks than Johnson did in his whole tenure.

As for Johnson has done for the UK as a whole, I think the damage he's caused rather outweighs anything he's done for cycling in the capital, which he actually didn't do anyway as he had an expert to handle it for him and some if it was a hangover from Livingstone's time anyway like the hire bikes.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to OldRidgeback | 7 years ago
0 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

Mystery Machine wrote:

Well, this doesn't bode well for the promotion of less polluting means of travel in the capital.

The wretched Khan is prepared to back down in the face of the Westminster council NIMBYs who hate anything that doesn't pander to motons, but won't do the decent thing and pull the plug on the waste of TfL funds that is the 'Garden' Bridge.

Much as I hate him for what he's done to the country as a whole, I think cyclists in the capital will miss Boris. At least he was able to face down the enemies in TfL, Canary Wharf etc who were trying to derail the Embankment route.

I currently have no faith that Khan will have anything like the strength of character to do likewise.

 

Err, the people in the mayor's office pointed out that Khan did more for Lonfon in the first couple of weeks than Johnson did in his whole tenure.

As for Johnson has done for the UK as a whole, I think the damage he's caused rather outweighs anything he's done for cycling in the capital, which he actually didn't do anyway as he had an expert to handle it for him and some if it was a hangover from Livingstone's time anyway like the hire bikes.

So what has Khan done, exactly? From what I've seen I'm not impressed. He shows little sign of seriously challenging London's car-centric and polluting transport culture.

My real fear is that he's cut from the same cloth as Johnson. Driven more by personal ambition than principles.

The fact that London Labour seems to be represented in the media by the obnoxious Dave Hill, and that Khan spent so much time positioning himself strategically in Labour's internal struggles, doesn't give me much confidence. It seems to me that the Labour leadership row showed Khan engaging in the same kind of conviction-free maneurvering that Boris did over Brexit.

I don't trust any of them.

Avatar
Gus T | 7 years ago
2 likes

Oh dear, another politico who lied through their teeth to get what they wanted then started backtracking immediately after being elected. No doubt about it, all politicians really are scum

 

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mrchrispy | 7 years ago
2 likes

clearly not enough kick backs in this project to make it viable

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brooksby | 7 years ago
18 likes

Quote:

Dismore called the bridge “a highly expensive vanity project”

So - not like the Garden Bridge at all then...    At least this one was going to have an actual genuine transport use.

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tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
7 likes

Asking for tranquility in a densely populated small city is some combination of daft and selfish.

 

Move out of the city if you want 'tranquility'. People need to move around. Besides, bikes are quiet. Cars make noises. Go protest about noise pollution from cars if you're interested in tranquility.

 

Khan is a useless stooge anyway. You won't see any good cycling record from him, he's not a cyclist. Boris the wombat knew how to make things happen. Khan will let things drag on into perpetuity. No character. No balls. 

Avatar
jacknorell | 7 years ago
3 likes

Quote:

" the potential passage of 9000 cyclists and/or pedestrians crossing the bridge daily, “ruining the tranquil character of St George’s Square and causing disruption to residents across Pimlico"

St Georges Square Gardens are already bordered by Grosvenor Road on the south end, one of London's most trafficked roads. And one of the busiest for cyclists too. NIMBYism at it's best...

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 7 years ago
13 likes

Pity, but more  of a pity that he can't halt the stupid, useless, expensive, eyesore garden bridge

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