Pictures: New £600m bicycle friendly bridge planned for East London

London’s East End is poorly served by bridges. After Tower Bridge at the City, the next bridge further east is almost 20 miles away at Dartford.

So perhaps it is unsurprising that a campaign to link east London to the south is gathering momentum.

Architects HOK and Arup have published their designs envisioning what a new crossing could look like, and have called on politicians to back the plans, saying that East London could miss out on the legacy of the Olympics.

Plans for a bridge between Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach have been in the public realm for a long time, but Boris Johnson put paid to the plans during his first term as Mayor.

But new plans also have the backing of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), former transport secretary Andrew Adonis, Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales and Matthew Hall, chief commercial officer of City Airport.

Bridge East London 2

The designs for the new bridge include cycle lanes, and would be tall enough to allow clear passage for ships coming up the Thames.

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of LCCI said: “Nearly half of London’s population lives east of Tower Bridge yet they are served by only two fixed road river crossings. It is an area with huge amounts of potential and while the Olympics acted as a crucible for creativity and dynamism in the area, its future growth is being held back by this gap in transport infrastructure.”

In addition to lack of enthusiasm from London’s Mayor, there are other opponents to a new crossing.

Bridge East London 3

According to the Evening Standard, London Assembly Green Party member Darren Johnson said: “This new road bridge will bring more traffic, congestion and pollution to the streets of east London. Local people have been rejecting this bridge for over thirty years and the latest set of pretty artist drawings won’t disguise the fact that this new road will bring pollution and traffic jams to their area.”

Richard Gammon, HOK’s Global Director for Aviation and Transportation, said: “If the full potential of east London is to be harnessed and maximised to the benefit of our growing city, then we need to provide catalysts to enable that potential to flourish.”

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