Consultation period for Canary Wharf South Dock footpath ends

Artist’s impression of completed bridge in 2020. Picture: Tower Hamlets Council

A period for public feedback on a new pedestrian bridge proposal in Canary Wharf has ended.

Proposals for the bridge have been in motion since 2015, with an initial request for public feedback being made earlier this year in February. The deadline for feedback passed on March 23, meaning preparations for planning permission can now be made, ready for submission by the end of this year. Construction is expected to finish in 2020.

While it is unknown how much the construction of the bridge will cost overall, Tower Hamlets issued a statement in January detailing an agreed expenditure of £270,000 for preparatory work.

The bridge is set to be built on the Wharf’s South Dock, connecting it to Upper Bank Street behind the Canary Wharf Underground station.

It is expected to ease pedestrian congestions in the area, which are set to worsen with the introduction of the Elizabeth Line Cross Rail in December this year.

The plans follow growing concern for the maintenance of South Dock’s only current walkway, Wilkinson Eyre bridge, which is reported to currently host approximately 27,000 pedestrians a day, making it the second busiest pedestrian bridge in London. This number is expected to increase to between 70,000 and 80,000 pedestrians a day by 2030, following both the introduction of Cross Rail and residential improvements carried out by Berkeley Group.

The new bridge’s current design incorporates a counterweight mechanism, designed to allow access through the dock for larger boats. Similar designs have been seen throughout Europe in Denmark and Holland.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “I have called for the bridge to be built long before I was Mayor.”

 “The Isle of Dogs requires infrastructure to match the development in the area, relieve congestion on the bridge and improve cycling and pedestrian access.”

The South Quay footbridge is the only pedestrian and cyclist route across the South Dock. This is set to worsen with the increased pedestrian traffic expected from Canary Wharf’s Crossrail station completion in December.

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