Feasibility study into a new link to Rotherhithe says a booming population needs more cross-river options
A new cycle bridge between Canada Water and Canary Wharf could empty 15 Tube trains of passengers and slash journey times across the river, according to a feasibility study.
Unlike the Garden Bridge, a link between Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs has found favour with politicians of all hues and Chancellor George Osborne highlight the scheme in his National Infrastructure Plan in 2014.
A feasibility study by cycling charity Sustrans has now put some figures on the benefits of a bridge which would take some of the heat from a public transport system which will come under greater strain as Canary Wharf grows.
The study said a bridge would see 10,200 cycle journeys and 3,000 walking journeys a day – the equivalent to 160 full buses of passengers.
The time saved for commuters using the bridge would be worth £10million a year to London’s economy, the study shows and could be in place by 2020.
By 2030 there will be 110,000 new jobs created on the Isle of Dogs and over 4,000 new homes in Canada Water but the short hop across the river is a massive barrier for cyclists.
Current free options include Tower Bridge in the west or Greenwich Foot Tunnel in the east.
Acting Sustrans director Matt Winfield said: “A beautifully designed bridge will make cycling and walking a quick, clean and healthy alternative to a busy Tube train.
“If we make it a pleasant, quick option then people will take it. We need London’s mayoral candidates to pledge to bridge the gap, starting with a design competition to find an exciting and attractive design.”
The proposed bridge has the support of mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry.
British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman said: “A new cycling bridge would ease the pressure on transport and make cycling an attractive option for thousands of people in a growing east and south east London.
“With bicycles now outnumbering cars on most crossings the bridge would also serve as a spectacular statement from the new mayor that cycling is a core part of the capital’s transport strategy.”
Freelance graphic designer Amey Gokarn regularly commutes into Central London by bike. He said: “Getting north of the river always involves a detour one way or the other, taking me miles out of my way and onto busy roads. This bridge would give me a much straighter option and save time. When I have to get to clients in Canary Wharf it’ll be an absolute godsend.”
The bridge would link to the capital’s growing cycling network, allowing connections to London Bridge, Bermondsey, Surrey Quays, Deptford and Greenwich via Cycle Superhighway 4 (CS4) and Waterloo, and further afield via a number of forthcoming Quietways on the south side of the river.
On the north bank, the bridge would connect to CS3, providing a segregated route to Barking in the east, and central London to the west.