The proposal for the new pedestrian and cycle bridge, that will provide a much needed link across the Thames between Fulham and Battersea, has been submitted for full planning permission. The LB Hammersmith & Fulham planning reference is 2012/03582/FUL, the LB Wandsworth reference is to be confirmed. Both local authorities will have the submitted information available on their websites within a week.

As early as 1924, two year before Her Majesty the Queen’s birth, Viscount Curzon MP acknowledged in the House of Commons that a bridge for pedestrian access situated between Wandsworth Bridge and Battersea Bridge was needed. The ambition for a bridge in this location is also set in in both LB Hammersmith & Fulham and LB Wandsworth saved planning policy. During this year’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations the Queen boarded the Flotilla and set sail from this very location. A new pedestrian and cycle link in this location at this time will be a fitting legacy for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and one which makes financial and common sense.

The area around Battersea Railway Bridge, on both sides of the river, has seen a renaissance in recent years. Thousands of new apartments as well as many restaurants and bars and two 5* hotels have been constructed in the area, opening up the riverfront to leisure and thoroughfare. Many more developments are planned and under construction in the immediate vicinity. A new pedestrian and cycle bridge alongside the railway bridge will enable greater integration between the north and south of the river both in terms of transport and economic activity, whilst also having a positive impact on the environment and creating an extension to the amenity space and linear park of the Thames Path.

The proposal has been developed over the past 12 months in consultation with both local authorities and is designed to accommodate all the consultees’ considerations whilst maintaining a vigour to the design that celebrates the journey across the Thames. The design team, led by one-world design,  includes Expedition Engineering (designers of the Olympic Velodrome and the Thames Cable car), Beckett Rankine (advisors on the London Eye, Cadogan pier and many others), RPS environmental consultants, Thompson Ecology and Oxford Archaeology. The proposed bridge is both respectful of its context, maintaining views of the listed railway bridge, and exciting in its form. Images and an animation are available on one-world design’s website at: http://www.one-worlddesign.co.uk/2012/05/11/jubilee-footbridge/ and the progress of the application can be followed by ‘liking’ our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneworlddesign

With an estimated build cost of between £21 and £22m LB Wandsworth’s financial appraisal indicates that the scheme has a Benefit/Cost Ratio of 2.0:1. This indicates that the scheme would provide value for money, with a BCR above the TfL pass mark of 1.5:1 and at the level representing high value for money in Department for Transport guidance. However, our intention is to achieve corporate sponsorship for the full amount and for the bridge to be gifted to London at no cost to the taxpayer. This application is expected to be referred to the Mayor under Category 2C 1(h) “a crossing over the River Thames”. 

Given the clear benefits that this bridge will provide residents and businesses on both sides of the river we hope that you will support this application and, if appropriate, provide written support backing the proposal to the local planning authorities either through their websites or by post.