Proposals for a floating cycle route over the Thames

The Thames Deckway would reduce cycling time from Battersea to Canary Wharf to 30 minutes. Pic: River Cycleway Consortium

The Thames Deckway would reduce cycling time from Battersea to Canary Wharf to 30 minutes. Pic: River Cycleway Consortium

Proposals for a new east-west floating cycle path on the river Thames, stretching eight miles from Battersea to Canary Wharf in the borough of Tower Hamlets, have been put forward.

The River Cycleway Consortium, a group of architects, artists and engineers founded in 2012, has revealed this week plans for the “Thames Deckway”, a project that would cost £600 millions.

Karen Dorothy, a spokesperson for the consortium, said: “It will be the fastest, safest, healthiest and most enjoyable cycle route through central London, by far.”

The cycle path would rise and fall gently with the river’s tidal cycle and it could be used by both cyclists and pedestrians for a flat charge £1.50 per single journey, which would go towards covering maintenance costs.

Cyclists travelling on the floating cycle path would be able to get from Battersea to Canary Wharf in only 30 minutes.

The Thames Deckway would also generate energy for lights from solar panels, tide and wind energy.

The Port of London Authority (PLA) said that the Thames Deckway could constitute a threat to the growth in commuter and tourist passengers on the river and create issues for the increasingly busy river traffic.

They said that the new cycle pathway could be a stumbling block for the Mayor’s “River Action Plan” that aims to double the Thames’ commuter and tourist passenger traffic in the years ahead.

They also argued that the new cycle pathway would constitute a danger to shipping on the Thames.

A spokesperson from PLA said: “The placing of such a structure would reduce navigable space, increase congestion and present a serious risk of collision.”

However, Dorothy argued that the Thames Deckway would be less dangerous to river traffic than the concrete pier that supports the Millennium Bridge.

She said: “The Deckway is well out of the way of the central navigation channel and its boat impact system will be designed to minimize damage both to boats and the Deckway. Safety is our number one priority in this project.”

Hannah Wilson and Dora Gudnadsdottir, both studying social theory at Goldsmiths University, said they would like to try out the floating cycle path, but said that it could also be dangerous.

Gudnadsdottir said: “It would be good because it would relieve the pressure on the tube and other means of transport.”

But the students didn’t give the project too much credit, and guessed that it could take over 20 years to be built.

Wilson said: “I can’t see it happening any time soon.”

They Mayor of London has been briefed on the project and the River Cycleway Consortium aims to have it ready for cyclists and pedestrians within two years from full go-ahead.

The consortium includes artist Anna Hill and architect David Nixon, and is cooperating with the engineering firm Arup and Hugh Broughton Architects.

What do you think about the Thames Deckway project? Have you say on Twitter using the hashtag #floatingcycleway.

Leave a Reply