A new route is being considered by Transport for London (TfL) for the Rotherhithe Crossing, New Civil Engineer can reveal.
Sources close to the scheme confirmed that a “L shaped route” connecting Durands Wharf and Westferry Circus has been tabled.
It comes as the public consultation due this autumn has been pushed back until spring next year, following “major issues” with the bridge design.
The new design is for a backwards “L shaped route” which crosses the river from Durands Wharf and then turns left before it reaches the other bank to run parallel with the shore until it lands at Westferry Circus.
Feasibility studies for three possible locations for the bridge identified the “central location” – connecting Impound Lock close to Cascades Tower on the northern bank of the Thames to Durand’s Wharf park on the southern bank – as the preferred location.
A TfL spokesperson confirmed that the delay to the public consultation was due to a number of “major issues”.
“TfL received a lot of detailed feedback and has been using this to develop the scheme, as well as engaging directly with key stakeholders, such as the Port of London Authority and the boroughs on either side of the river to work through major issues of the bridge alignment, landing points, opening mechanism and operating procedures,” the spokesperson said.
“Once these issues have been agreed, TfL will launch a full public consultation as soon as possible. This was anticipated in 2018, but TfL is taking additional time to allow for a more meaningful consultation.”
Due to the delay in the bridge proposals being published, a spokesperson for Beckett Rankine said that its rival ferry crossing proposal, in conjunction with Thames Clippers, would be postponed to give “more time to develop the design and key elements such as the auto-mooring system”.
Estimated to cost a tenth of the estimated £300M to £400M valuation of the bridge, the proposed service would involve a fleet of three ferries which can be boarded from either end.
Departing every two or three minutes in a “tube-style” service, each ferry can carry 150 passengers including 50 cyclists and 100 pedestrians.
Earlier this year, TfL’s preferred option of a navigable crossing that can open for shipping won the backing of 85% of respondents to a public consultation, while 93% supported an east London crossing in some form.
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