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Navigational concerns raised over floating Thames pathway

Questions have been raised about whether London mayor Boris Johnson’s planned 12m wide floating river walk along the Thames will compromise safety and the navigational channel.

Labour London Assembly member Murad Qureshi has written to the City of London Planners in the hope that the plans will take serious account of navigational and safety concerns about the floating platform, which is due to be ready in time for the Olympics next year and will be located between Blackfriars and the Tower of London.

“I have been contacted by a number of people who have considered the mayor’s plans and who have serious concerns about whether this idea has been thought through properly,” said Qureshi. “I would have liked the mayor’s assurances that the walkway will be sensitive to the existing river functions and most importantly whether a safety assessment has been carried out.”

Navigational and safety concerns

The three major navigational and safety concerns highlighted by Murad Qureshi were:

  1. That the navigational channel will not be intruded upon so as to allow two-way traffic along the river and the free movement of vessels during refurbishment works on the bridge arches.
  2. That the structure of the walk way will be robust enough to withstand vessel impact in the event that a ship’s engine or steering fails
  3. Safeguarding of the barge access between Southwark Bridge and Cannon Street as well as the emergency lay-by moorings.

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