Transport for London has delayed the next round of public consultation on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge as it tries to trim the cost of the scheme, a City Hall committee has been told.
TfL has allocated £330 million to the walking and cycling scheme in its business plan.
Public consultation was due to open last month but has been delayed whilst TfL tries to tweak the scheme to try to keep the cost of the bridge within £330 million.
David Hughes, TfL’s investment delivery planning director, told the London Assembly budget & performance committee: “We’ve deferred the start of the consultation to allow further work on value engineering aspects of the scheme, going back looking at certain of the requirements around alignment [and] the navigation requirements of the Port of London to see if we can take out part of the cost before going to consultation.”
Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, added: “We will seek contributions from the private sector to help deliver it” – but he warned that the amounts to be extracted from Canada Water developers British Land and Canary Wharf Group “are not going to be huge”.
Mr Hughes was unable to give Assembly members a new timetable for the next public consultation on the bridge.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has defended plans to build a bridge across the Thames linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf.
Mr Khan was speaking at the People’s Question Time event in Bexley on Thursday night where he was challenged from the floor about plans for a “£400 million vanity bridge” at Rotherhithe.
The Mayor said: “I don’t apologise for wanting to make sure that we have a cycle and pedestrian bridge at Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.
“Actually it was one of the campaigns that Caroline Pidgeon talked about during the mayoral campaign.
“I was initially not sure of my views but was persuaded during the mayoral campaign that it was a good idea.
“We have worked cross-party to get this scheme up and running.”
Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said: “It’s so important for pedestrians and cyclists to be able to cross the Thames.
“At the moment on this side of London you have a choice: you go through the Rotherhithe Tunnel – literally taking your life into your own hands – or you have to trek further east and go through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
“We need to make sure that people can get across the Thames in a healthy, safe way.
“I think this is a fantastic project and it will be a real triumph for London to see a brand new bridge at that location.”
This week we reported that Canary Wharf Group is opposing the bridge and favours an improved ferry service instead.
The owners of Canary Wharf have criticised plans for a bridge across the Thames linking the Isle of Dogs with Rotherhithe.
Canary Wharf Group’s hostility to the scheme has been known for some time but is now a matter of public record thanks to the firm’s submission to the London Plan examination in public currently being held at City Hall
“This is a very expensive and environmentally intrusive scheme and we believe the significantly cheaper ferry proposal should be properly considered as a more viable and attractive (to users) proposition.
“With public finances heavily constrained, it is vital that investment in infrastructure is spent wisely on the most important, beneficial and deliverable initiatives.”
Last month Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Transport for London (TfL) is continuing to develop the scheme, including aspects of design, construction and operation of this important new crossing.
“As part of this, TfL is engaging directly with a number of stakeholders, including the Port of London Authority, London boroughs, land owners and local community groups.
“This work is helping to develop greater detail on the scheme, which TfL will share as part of a formal public consultation, which is currently planned to launch in spring 2019.”
In its London Plan EIP submission, Canary Wharf also argues that greater capacity is needed on the Jubilee line in order to meet future demand.
Plans to light up some of Rotherhithe’s landmark buildings to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 2020 have moved a step closer.
More than £30,000 has been raised to allow a feasibility study to be undertaken. £20,000 has been contributed by the Greater London Authority with the balance coming from local people, businesses and organisations.
WE HIT OUR TARGET TODAY – 3 DAYS BEFORE MONDAY’S DEADLINE – AND WE’VE EXCEEDED IT! We never believed for a moment that it would be possible to raise such a significant sum in such a relatively short space of time, but thanks to YOU and all the other 176 generous pledgers we have actually managed to achieve our goal.
We are now in overfunding mode! This is a wonderful – and very unexpected – position to be in. It will still be possible to make a pledge for the next couple of weeks, and as stated on our Spacehive project page all the additional funds will be held in reserve to put towards the cost of the installation of the lighting scheme later on, after the technical feasibility study has been completed.
It’s been suggested that there is potentially funding available in another mayoral funding pot to cover part of the cost of the installation, and last week I was given a promise of corporate financial support for the installation, which is very exciting! But there is lots more work to do.
We want to move the process forward as quickly as we can now, and we are still hoping that there might be time for this legacy lighting scheme to be installed by July 2020 when the Mayflower 400 celebrations/commemorations begin. We have already arranged to meet with the conservation architect and the lighting designer in January to discuss next steps. And if you would like to learn more about the proposed scheme, evening lighting demonstrations will be available for local friends and neighbours – and for anyone else who’s interested – before design development.
Please help us by sharing this good news with all your networks and your social media.
THANK YOU AGAIN for your support and for your enthusiasm and for making it possible for us to take our exciting vision forward to the next stage.
Festive greetings and very best wishes for 2019.
Clare and the Illuminate Rotherhithe! campaign team
A new timetable has been introduced this week on the Thames Clippers ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, with two extended gaps in service during the day.
This is the email sent to passengers:
The RB4 Doubletree Docklands ferry timetable is changing from 5th November 2018. There will be a break in service between 1053 and 1157 and between 2103 and 2140 weekdays. Your journey may be affected as follows: Morning break: Last boat before break: 1050 from Canary Wharf to Doubletree Docklands First boat after break: 1157 from Doubletree Docklands to Canary Wharf Afternoon break: Last boat before break: 2100 from Canary Wharf to Doubletree Docklands First boat after break: 2140 from Doubletree Docklands to Canary Wharf See the new timetable here: https://www.thamesclippers.com/servicechanges We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued and valued support.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given a £20,000 boost to plans to light up six historic Rotherhithe buildings with a pledge of City Hall cash to the crowdfunding campaign.
Funding is being sought to examine the technical feasibility of illuminating six historic buildings in time for 2020, the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe to the New World.
The minimum pledge is £2 and backers will only be charged if the target is reached.
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “All Londoners should feel that they are part of the regeneration of their neighbourhoods and crowdfunding is a really effective way of giving people a stake in their part of the city.
“The Mayor’s Crowdfund London programme empowers Londoners to bring about positive change in their local area and I would encourage people to support these innovative projects.”
Historic England – the Government’s heritage watchdog – says that the tall buildings proposed in the Canada Water masterplan would have “a profound and far-reaching impact on the London skyline” and would harm the setting of two of the capital’s most famous landmarks.
Historic England’s Alasdair Young wrote: “… we have identified the impact of the development in views along the northern half of London Bridge towards the Grade I listed Tower Bridge as being particularly harmful.
“This is because the cluster of tall buildings, as accentuated by the 162m tower in Plot D would block the silhouette of Tower Bridge’s south bastion in kinetic views along London Bridge, visually competing with its monumental character and reducing its landmark status along the Thames.”
Historic England is also concerned about the impact on the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Greenwich Park.
“We consider that the encroachment created by the tall buildings would cause harm to the landmark status of St Paul’s Cathedral,” wrote Mr Young.
He adds that the proposed tall buildings would also spoil the view of the spire of St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe from Waterside Gardens in Wapping.
The watchdog acknowledges that the proposed tall buildings “largely” [their italics] accord with local planning policy.