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Plans are afoot to skip Canary Wharf’s ‘bottleneck footbridge’ over the Millwall Docks

PUBLISHED: 17:06 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 13 February 2018

South Quay footbridge scheme proposed by Tower Hamlets Council at Millwall Docks. Picture source: LBTH

South Quay footbridge scheme proposed by Tower Hamlets Council at Millwall Docks. Picture source: LBTH

LBTH

Plans for a new pedestrian footbridge over the Millwall Docks to bypass Canary Wharf’s ‘bottleneck footbridge’ have been unveiled today.

Commuters packed onto South Quay footbridge to get to Canary Wharf station. Picture: Sergey KharlamovCommuters packed onto South Quay footbridge to get to Canary Wharf station. Picture: Sergey Kharlamov

Public consultations are now planned for the new South Dock footbridge to link the Isle of Dogs with South Quay and Canary Wharf, for commuters heading for the DLR and Underground stations.

The £270,000 preparation work to cover the design and consultation has been agreed by Tower Hamlets council, with the full cost coming later from a ‘community infrastructure levy’ paid by developers.

“The Isle of Dogs needs infrastructure to match the development,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said. “This footbridge will relieve congestion on the existing bridge and improve cycling and pedestrian access.”

Queueing to get onto South Quay bridge during 2015 DLR strike. Picture: Sergey KharlamovQueueing to get onto South Quay bridge during 2015 DLR strike. Picture: Sergey Kharlamov

He had been calling for a new footbridge even before becoming mayor, when he was the London Assembly member for the area.

The campaign for a second footbridge was started by Tower Hamlets’ councillor Andrew Wood following scenes of chaos caused by a 48-hour strike on the DLR rail network in 2015.

Commuters had to make their way to the Underground at Canary Wharf by crossing the ‘bottleneck’ South Quay footbridge over Millwall’s inner dock. They often have to queue even today just to get onto what’s thought to be the second-busiest footbridge in London, after the Millennium crossing over the Thames near St Paul’s.

South Quay footbridge at Canary Wharf. Picture source: LBTHSouth Quay footbridge at Canary Wharf. Picture source: LBTH

The design for the new structure takes account of the environment, noise, vibration and the wind to avoid the ‘wobble’ effect that first plagued the Millennium bridge.

Three consultations are being held with the plans on show—at Canary Wharf’s West Winter Garden in Bank Street, 11am-3pm on February 27, at Alpha Grove Community Centre on the Isle of Dogs, 10am-1pm on March 3, and at Canary Wharf Idea Store in Churchill Place, 5-8pm on March 8.

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