Have your say on proposals for a new river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf

Closes 8 Jan 2018

Opened 8 Nov 2017

Overview

We are investigating the feasibility of providing a new Thames river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf for pedestrians and cyclists. This project is one of a number of possible new river crossings for London which are intended to improve cross-river connectivity. These proposed crossings would consist of new public transport, vehicle, pedestrian and cycle links.

This new river crossing would provide a direct and attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists travelling between south and east London helping to improve the share of trips being made by walking and cycling in line with the Mayor’s aim for 80 per cent of Londoners’ trips to be on foot, by cycle or by using public transport by 2041.

It is predicted that there will be a continuing growth in cycling across London and, together with employment and population growth in both the Canary Wharf and Canada Water areas, this will generate an increase in journeys and more demand for walking and cycling facilities in the area.

At present there is a lack of river crossings for cyclists and pedestrians east of Tower Bridge restricting access to key destinations such as Canary Wharf. The Jubilee line is also currently operating close to capacity during peak times. A new river crossing would contribute towards accommodating the growth in Canada Water and Canary Wharf and would provide an alternative to the Jubilee line for those trips that can be made on foot or by bike.

We would like your views on our proposal, which would:

  • Encourage an increase in the number of people walking and cycling in the area by providing a safe, attractive and direct route across the river, reduce journey times and encourage healthier travel. It would also link to the Thames Path and existing and planned Cycle Superhighways on both sides of the river to support onward journeys across a wider area of London
     
  • Support growth in Canada Water and Canary Wharf, which have been identified in the London Plan as Opportunity Areas (OA’s), by providing a much-needed walking and cycling connection across the Thames
     
  • Provide an improvement/alternative to existing crossings such as the Doubletree Ferry, Greenwich Foot Tunnel and Tower Bridge. It would also provide an alternative to the Jubilee line for those travelling between Canada Water and Canary Wharf

We have determined that the most suitable location is between Canary Wharf and the east side of the Rotherhithe peninsula. Figures 1 and 2 below show the section of the River Thames under consideration.

Figure 1 – Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf section of the River Thames under consideration for a new crossing

Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

Figure 2 – Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf section of the River Thames under consideration for a new crossing (zoomed-in view)

Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

Options for a river crossing

Over the past year we have been undertaking surveys, carrying out demand modelling and looking at the design and engineering considerations of the different options for a crossing at this location. 

We have engaged with stakeholders as part of our work to develop these proposals, including landowners and the local community to understand what they think of the project from an early stage. We will continue engagement as the project progresses.

As part of this work we investigated several options for a new river crossing in this location. Some were discounted at an early stage as they were not feasible, leaving us with a short list of three options; a tunnel, an enhanced ferry service and a bridge. These three options were further assessed to consider their ability to meet the scheme’s objectives, their likely costs, potential benefits, and possible impacts.

Preferred option: Navigable Bridge

A navigable bridge allows the movement of vessels on the river to continue. It may be high level allowing vessels beneath or with an opening mechanism to allow them through.

Based on the studies that we have carried out so far, we propose a navigable bridge as our preferred option for a river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. Whilst there is a strong case for providing a river crossing, we do not wish to prevent the continued use of the River Thames for the transport of people and goods.

A navigable bridge would provide an accessible, safe and convenient facility for cyclists and pedestrians. It would help to support a long term change in the way people travel in line with the vision set out in the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy. Our research shows that a bridge currently has strong support from cycling groups, accessibility groups and some residents, predominantly those living on the south side of the river. However, there are some concerns about the impact it could have on residents who live nearby and a crucial consideration is the potential need to open the bridge for larger vessels on the river and how this would impact people’s journeys.

Our studies also suggested that:

  • A ferry would be the lowest cost option and could be delivered faster, although would not attract as many walking or cycling trips as a bridge or a tunnel
  • A tunnel would offer similar benefits to a bridge and would not be impacted by river vessels but it is forecast to cost significantly more than a bridge

Further detail on all options and our options assessment is available in Factsheet No. 2 Crossing options

What options are we consulting on?

While our provisional preferred option is a navigable bridge, it is important to note that no final decisions have yet been made and we want your views on this decision.

A navigable bridge is a complex and unique proposal, we have therefore begun investigating this option in greater detail to better understand a number of factors, such as the location, design, land requirements, cost and the need for it to open for larger vessels. To assist this investigation, we would also like your views on different aspects of a navigable bridge as part of this consultation, including the location, height and other considerations.

Bridge options

We have established three preferred bridge location options which are illustrated in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3: Proposed bridge locations


Option 1: Northern alignment
A bridge along the northern alignment would land in a new public space around the Hilton Hotel in Nelson Dock on the south side of the river and connect directly with Westferry Circus and the Thames Path on the north side.

Pros:

  • The Nelson Dock landing site may allow for a more direct route through Pearson’s Park to Salter Road and the National Cycle Network
  • The higher level at Westferry Circus allows for potentially shorter ramped access to a bridge
  • Westferry Circus provides a suitable area for a bridge landing with adjacent commercial activity and good access to the wider transport network

Cons:

  • Impacts on private commercial land including the Hilton Doubletree Docklands hotel
  • Adjacent to heritage buildings around Nelson Dock
  • May require reconfiguration works to the highway at West Ferry Circus
     

Option 2: Central alignment
A bridge along the central alignment would land in Durand’s Wharf park on the south side of the river and connect with Westferry Road and the Thames Path around the existing West India Impound Lock site on the north side of the river.

Pros:

  • Space for ramps could be available in Durand’s Wharf Park
  • The area above the Impound Lock is not currently used (aside from maintaining the lock) or proposed for development

Cons:

  • This alignment gives the longest movable span and therefore would have the longest duration for bridge openings
  • Close proximity to residential buildings
  • Changes to the use of public space at Durand’s Wharf
     

Option 3: Southern alignment
A bridge along the southern alignment would land in Durand’s Wharf Park on the south side of the river and in West India Dock Pier on the north side of the river.

Pros:

  • Bridge perpendicular to the straightest part of the river reducing construction costs, risks and opening times

Cons:

  • Close proximity to residential buildings
  • There is no adequate space for a ramp, so West India Dock Pier would require additional lift capacity which could impact on adjacent properties
  • Vehicle access to adjacent properties and the junction of Cuba Street with Westferry Road pose a challenge to integrating cyclists/ pedestrians with the existing road network
  • Changes to the use of public space at Durand’s Wharf

The height of the bridge

We have been working with the Port of London Authority to investigate different options for the height and span of the bridge over the river. This heavily influences how the bridge opens for larger vessels on the river; the frequency and duration of openings; the visual impact of the bridge; and how easy it is to access for users. We would like your views on the optimum height of a bridge.

Higher bridge
A higher bridge would open less often for river traffic but would be more difficult to access, with taller ramps, lifts or stairs adding additional time to journeys. A higher bridge could also potentially have a greater visual impact.


Lower bridge
A lower bridge could be more accessible, have a lesser visual impact, and require less land either side of the river. However, it would need to open more frequently to allow vessels to pass causing more regular disruption to journeys.

Further information about how often and for how long a bridge might need to open is provided in the Background to Consultation Report.

Other design considerations

There are a number of other factors that we would also like your views on.

Further information on our investigation into the bridge location, height and other bridge design considerations is provided in Factsheet No. 3 Bridge options.

Collaborative improvements to support growth

We are working closely with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to implement the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework to support the existing communities and employment in this area, as well as growth over the coming decades. The framework outlines the transport challenges as well as presenting a sustainable package of transport measures and infrastructure, which include a new strategic walking and cycle connection between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. This would link the Isle of Dogs with the Canada Water Opportunity Area, alongside investment in delivering better, healthy streets, new and higher capacity DLR trains and new bridges across South Dock and the River Lea.

We are working closely with the London Borough of Southwark to consider how this crossing would support regeneration in Canada Water. The crossing has been identified in a number of local policy documents; including Southwark’s Core Strategy and the Canada Water Area Action Plan.

Public exhibitions

We will be holding public exhibitions in Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe. Come and talk to us to find out more and let us know what you think:

Rotherhithe

Canada Water Library, Second floor, Room 5, 21 Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7AR
Saturday 18 November 2017, 12:30 to 16:30

Canada Water underground station, Jubilee Line ticket hall, Deal Porter Way, Surrey Quays, SE16
Thursday 23 November 2017, 08:00 to 10:00

Canada Water Library, Second floor, Room 3, 21 Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7AR
Thursday 23 November 2017, 11:00 to 19:00

Canary Wharf

Alpha Grove Community Centre, Alpha Grove, Isle of Dogs, London E14 8LH
Saturday 25 November 2017, 11:00 to 15:00

Canary Wharf underground station, Jubilee line ticket hall, Canary Wharf, London E14 5NY
Thursday 30 November 2017, 08:00 to 19:00

Additional information

Further detail on our work to date is provided in the following documents:

Background to Consultation Report

Factsheet No.1  – Overview

Factsheet No.2  – Crossing options

Factsheet No.3 – Bridge options

Next steps

Following this public consultation we will carry out a detailed analysis of all responses received and publish them in the form of a Consultation Report. The responses received will help us to determine the most appropriate form of crossing and continue to develop more detailed designs, together with a construction timeline.  

A second formal consultation is anticipated in 2018 which will seek views on this design work. This will allow local residents, visitors and commuters to comment on the proposed designs before they are completed and submitted as part of any consents application in 2019. 

Have your say

This public consultation will be open until Monday 8 January 2018.

To have your say about our proposals please complete our survey.

Alternatively, you can:

  • Email us at consultations@tfl.gov.uk
  • Or write to us at FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS using ‘Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf’ as the subject
  • Call us on 0343 222 1155*

Please contact is if you require copies of our consultation plans in Braille, large text or another language using the contact information above.

*Service and network charges may apply see tfl.gov.uk/terms

 

Have your say

Events

Areas

  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • River Crossings