A new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Nine Elms on the South Bank with the historic Pimlico embankment is a key component in the Partnership’s transport development plans.
Transport for London (TfL)’s feasibility study has confirmed the bridge is viable and would be a valuable addition to central London’s transport network. The exact location is yet to be confirmed but the preferred options would land close to the site of the new US Embassy.
In December 2014, Wandsworth Council launched an international competition to design a new bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico. The competition attracted 74 entries from across the globe including some of the best known names in the design industry. See the dedicated website www.nepbridgecompetition.co.uk for full details.
A preferred bidder, led by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, was announced in November 2015 following a unanimous recommendation from the contest’s jury panel.
The full team includes Bystrup, Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff, ÅF Lighting Aecom, COWI Engineering and DP9.
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and member of the jury panel, said:
“This team has impressed at every stage of the competition, combining light and graceful design ideas with an inventive approach to the core transport challenges. We are convinced they have the talent to develop a successful bridge design which would be both a valuable river crossing and a beautiful addition to the Thames.”
Amongst the most difficult puzzles which the winning design team had to overcome is the bridge height which has to rise high above the banks so large vessels can pass beneath. This has been done without creating slopes too steep for cyclists and pedestrians.
It needs to be fully accessible for disabled people, and bikes and walkers travelling in both directions must be able to get across safely and effectively without coming into conflict.
Other key challenges included:
• Creating a fitting landmark which is sensitive to the different urban characteristics of each shoreline and elegant in its own right
• Providing a safe and attractive link for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river, encouraging sustainable travel between the two banks
• Complying with the Disability Discrimination Act; ensuring it is accessible to all
• Minimising the loss of open space and positively enhancing the public realm where it lands on either bank
• Achieving a safe and efficient integration with the transport network on both banks
TfL’s feasibility study suggests the bridge would cost around £40m, providing a car free alternative to Vauxhall or Chelsea Bridges. A £26million contribution is already identified from the development of Nine Elms and further funding options will be explored in tandem with developing a detailed design.
In terms of next steps, Wandsworth Council will work with communities and stakeholders on both sides of the river to develop a detailed design which could be taken through the planning process. Any design taken forward would need planning approval from Wandsworth and Westminster Councils, and sign off from the Mayor of London, before being built.
A summary of the feasibility study can be downloaded from here.
Please visit www.nepbridgecompetition.co.uk for further information.