Thames River Protection Group Against The Rotherhithe Bridge

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The Thames river and Europe's most rapidly developing hub, Canary Wharf (CW), are under threat, as London authorities are planning to build a foot/cycle bridge, linking up Rotherhithe to the western part of the isle of dogs.

 There are many reasons why this bridge is a danger for the environment and the well-being of Londoners especially those living and/or working in the isle of dogs, but we tried to isolate a few which we deem worthy of this fight against another ill-thought colossal superfluous cemented structure, on our beloved river.

 ·       Destruction of a beautiful natural landscape, that has become a touristic hotspot linking the views of the city to those of Canary Wharf,

·       Astronomical cost (£200M+) for little value for local residents when the need for surgeries, schools and basic infrastructures for an ever-growing local population is essential,

·       Damage to an already fragile environmental water life by passers-by who would undoubtedly pollute the river bed on this 24h a day unpoliced structure,

·       The case for such a crossing at this particular location has not been proven at all, by any study, and the figures of the existing crossing at such location (the Hilton ferry) are insignificant to justify such a massive new expenditure.

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to the decision makers to stop the Rotherhithe Bridge and comment on why you are signing; all feedback is welcome and encouraged. Many thanks for your support.



Twitter: Protect Thames River @Bridge_no


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Firstly, if built, the so-called Rotherhithe bridge will not only destroy a stunning natural landscape, preventing residents and tourists alike, to enjoy a beautiful view of the river, and the city, including some of the most iconic west end landmarks, but most importantly, it will aggravate further an already ultra-congested area, by increasing the incoming footfall onto CW.

Secondly, the rising cost of construction (from an estimated £85M to £200M and counting) and the burden of annual maintenance, will fall upon the public, whilst at the same time, the isle of dogs residents badly need public expenditure to go on surgeries and schools, in order to cope with an exponentially increasing population. The isle of dogs residents are lacking some basic public services like fire protection (our local fire station is down to a one manned engine at the moment) or police station, since by the time this bridge is built, the latter would have moved from Limehouse to Bethnal Green, making the area even more difficult to secure.

Thirdly, the catastrophic environmental effect of a 24/7 steel structure laying on the river, with the obvious pollution from passers-by throwing their garbage as they cross, should not be underestimated, along with its impact on the river's surroundings wildlife (flora, fauna and sea birds) and a uniquely convoluted landings, making it one of the very few, if not the only bridge in the world, that is not set to cross a river at a 90 degrees angle.

Fourthly, there are already a dozen bridges spanning a few miles crossing the Thames in central London, most of them can be crossed by foot. That is more than is needed. Besides, based on the present traffic between Canada Water and canary wharf, there is no evidence whatsoever that such a bridge would benefit a large enough commuting crowd to be of public interest. A look at the data coming from the Hilton ferry would prove that there is an insignificant number of daily crossings/commutes between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. If the authorities wanted to prove the case, for such a structure, a river crossing/traffic test could be easily done by improving the existing ferry services making it available to bicycles and pedestrian alike, and compiling the data after a few months.

Finally, our opposition to the bridge is not an opposition to any change that will benefit our neighbourhood when it comes to commuting infrastructures, but this proposed Rotherhithe link in its essence, location, and design is not the answer, so we would be keen to work with the relevant authorities on finding an appropriate solution that can benefit our local area, the Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf and Tower Hamlets. 


PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to the decision makers to stop the Rotherhithe Bridge and comment on why you are signing; all feedback is welcome and encouraged. Many thanks for your support.




Latest update (April 2019):

TFL have recently updated the progress on its controversial Rotherhithe bridge project, when it comes for instance to cost, design and location, with a view to present it, to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, for further approval.

TFL have confirmed that the project costs, which have been independently estimated to be up to a staggering £600m+ over the 60 years of its life, are within their own projected assessments. That would include on top of the original construction cost (£400m+), an operating and maintenance cost of £2.4m per year. So far, about £10m has been spent on the project. We think its time to stop the financial haemorrhage for a mostly useless crossing at this part of the river, since TFL estimates the cycle demand in 2021 to be between 500 and 1,100 per weekday, whilst the pedestrian demand would be between 1,600 and 1.800.

Given the projected overall cost of this structure, this amount to more than £200,000 per user. Needless to say, private funding has not been piling up for such a needless project. That is why cuts have already been decided to such programmes as the transformation, networks, road technology and ironically given the justification of the bridge, the cycling programme


A concrete & steel vertical lift bridge has been favoured (see pict. above) with 90m tall and 15 m wide towers to support its deck which would be 12m above mean sprig waters and span about 180m across the river. If this design was finally implemented, it would make the Rotherhithe bridge the longest and tallest vertical lift bridge in the world, and would undoubtedly transform this part of the river into a massive industrial-looking eyesore and ecological disaster.


Out of the three locations pre-selected last year, TFL has opted for a revised version of the central alignment, (further upstream from its original plan), connecting Westferry circus and Durand’s Wharf park. Due to its height, the residential buildings both sides of the river, as well as restaurants and businesses north of it, will suffer from a severe loss of light, not to mention the destruction of the green space of the Durand’s Wharf park due to the 300m convoluted ramps landing there in order to accommodate for the deck’s height, affecting negatively, some of London best examples of the river ecosystem (intertidal mudflats, salt marsh, reed bed etc…) present around this park.

But the case against the bridge cannot be summarised as a simple eco-fight to preserve a beautiful and iconic river bend, that has been for many years, a touristic landmark. The most important arguments against it, are based on the fact that it is vastly over expensive and unnecessary given the problem that it pretends to tackle: improving the commute between the two sides of the Thames at this particular point. If a proper legitimate business case had been made for a crossing, we believe that for instance an eco-ferry would have been a much better use of commuters (through TFL) and ultimately, tax payers money.

If you would like to get more information regarding the Rotherhithe Bridge, we recommend visiting an independent website which has collected objective arguments about this project, that might help you in deciding to sign up to our petition and hopefully ask others to join.

We would like as well to promote another petition on Change.Org, backing a greener alternative to the Rotherhithe Bridge, an eco-friendly ferry service. Thanks for visiting:


Many thanks for your support

Thames River Protection Group