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Westminster councillors slam Nine Elms bridge plans

Labour councillors in Westminster have hit out at neighbouring Wandsworth Council for pressing ahead with its proposed pedestrian bridge over the River Thames

Wandsworth Council revealed last month that it was exploring the feasibility of different locations for the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge, designed by Denmark’s Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering.

But Westminster councillors Jason Williams and Shamim Talukder say the bridge is unlikely to go ahead, due to the level of opposition to it north of the river.

Talukder said: ‘Residents were surprised to hear that Wandsworth is still continuing to pour council tax payers’ money into funding a bridge to nowhere.

‘The mayor has already made it quite clear that the project can only go ahead with support in Westminster, which the project has not got.’

Bystrup will work on the proposals with Robin Snell and Partners, engineer COWI, and consultant AECOM.

Wandsworth said the team’s outline design concept could work at different locations indicated in an earlier study by Transport for London.

Lead designer Erik Bystrup said: ‘Our design concept is based on an elegant bridge that provides simple and uninhibited access for all, with minimal impact on each bank.

‘This will be one of the very first shared pedestrian and cycle bridges over the Thames, adding to the rich history of London’s river crossings.’

But councillor Williams criticised Wandsworth’s consultation process.

‘Tory councillors were promising residents there would be a public inquiry into the bridge, when this only really resulted in it being on the Environment Committee agenda in January 2016 – and no follow-up since,’ he said. ‘Pimlico doesn’t want this bridge at any location and we need firm action from the council, not more Tory spin.’

The councillors have written to Westminster Council leader Nickie Aiken to ask her what lobbying has been done to urge Wandsworth to drop the plan.

Readers' comments (3)

  • one minor point of accuracy....as elegant a scheme as it is, Erik is incorrect in that it isn't the very first shared pedestrian and cycle bridge. This accolade belongs to the Diamond Jubilee Bridge which Wandsworth are also, quietly, progressing. Pre-construction work is out to tender and the project has started on site some two months prior to the expiration of the planning consent with piles in the ground thanks to Barratt London.

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  • I do not understand why local politicians and residents in Pimlico - an area I know very well - are objecting to this pedestrian/cycle bridge proposal.
    The development of Nine Elms which includes the new American Embassy is bringing a massive increase in the residential ad office workers in that area. While a certain amount of local facilities are being provided - shopping and cafe's they will not provide the range of facilities just across the river. Businesses and facilities in Pimilco will prosper as a result - to the benefit of the local residents. But the overiding reason are the planning advantages. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross from Nine Elms direct to the North bank with having the detour and in the case of cyclists the risks involved in crossing by nearby Vauxhall Bridge via the dangerous heavily traffic experienced on the Vauxhall circulatory system. Westminster Council should support and encourage Wandsworth Council to proceed with this proposal - not attempt to prevent it. In passing - how many peple know that the first Vauxhall cars were built on the site of the Sainsbury's petrol station now park of their new development. Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA WEstminster resident and past Pimlico resident.

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  • 'Pimlico doesn't want this bridge at any location' sounds like a bit of text-book nimbyism, and Owen Luder's point about cyclists being able to avoid dangerous heavy traffic on the Vauxhall circulatory system surely identifies a very, very important aspect of the debate, given the truly horrendous toll of cyclist fatalities in central London in recent years.

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