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‘Help foot bill for new footbridge at Canary Wharf’ Tower Hamlets Council tells developers

PUBLISHED: 12:38 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 16 January 2018

South Quay footbridge at Canary Wharf. Picture source: LBTH

South Quay footbridge at Canary Wharf. Picture source: LBTH

LBTH

Public consultations start next month for a new footbridge at Canary Wharf to relieve the heavily-congested South Quay pedestrian walkway.

Canary Wharf's South Quay footbridge could soon have additional pedestrian way across Millwall inner dock. Picture source: LBTHCanary Wharf's South Quay footbridge could soon have additional pedestrian way across Millwall inner dock. Picture source: LBTH

Commuters often have to queue each day just to get onto the footbridge from the Isle of Dogs, thought to be the second-busiest in London after the Millennium Bridge in The City crossing the Thames near St Paul’s.

The consultation has been agreed by Tower Hamlets Council which is looking for a badly-needed solution to the commuter congestion.

The proposed new ‘South Dock Bridge’ is aimed at relieving the daily surge of pedestrians using the South Quay walkway to reach the London Underground.

The council has agreed £270,000 for the initial design and consultation to push the scheme forward.

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

The proposed location lines up with Upper Bank Street to improve access to transport links and Canary Wharf shopping centre. It was selected following detailed assessment of several possibilities, although it might result in the loss of at least one boat mooring in the dock.

The council intends making a further contribution at a later stage towards building the bridge and is now in talks with the GLA and other organisations for funding.

The detailed design work includes a study into the impact of the proposed scheme on air quality, biodiversity, environment, heritage, lighting, noise, vibration and effect of wind on the structure to avoid the ‘wobble’ effect that first plagued the Millennium footbridge.

Public consultations are likely to start around February 12 and run till March 22.

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

A campaign for a new pedestrian way was started by Tower Hamlets’ Canary Wharf ward councillor Andrew Wood following scenes of chaos caused by a 48-hour strike on the DLR rail network in December, 2015.

Commuters using South Quay and Crossharbour DLR stations had to make their way to the Underground at Canary Wharf crossing South Quay footbridge over the Millwall inner dock.

“They were packed onto the bridge which showed just how dependent people on the Isle of Dogs are on the one footbridge,” Cllr Wood pointed out.

The demand led to plans for a second bridge with the council starting to collect a levy from developers towards its cost.

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