Frequently Asked Questions

Who is promoting the bridge?

Wandsworth Council and the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership.

Why is this river crossing needed?

  • The distance between Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea Bridge is more than double the average gap between river crossings in central London.
  • London’s population is at an all-time high and growing, putting immense pressure on transport networks including the existing river crossings. New cycle and pedestrian links will help to meet rising transport demand and encourage sustainable, zero-emission forms of travel.
  • The Nine Elms area to the south of the proposed bridge is growing so transport demands are rising particularly fast in this part of central London.
  • An integrated package of transport upgrades is needed to make Nine Elms an accessible part of the city. The bridge would be an important component, helping people to reach the new homes, jobs, culture, leisure, shops and offices that are now being built.

What benefits will the bridge bring?

The bridge will provide a sustainable new connection across the Thames, shortening journey times, and providing a safe, car-free route for pedestrians and cyclists.

The design aspires to be a new landmark for London and be an exemplar for integrated cycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The bridge would help unlock the full potential of the Nine Elms and Vauxhall districts, supporting the creation of a new South Bank cultural quarter. For further benefits, please see the Aims section of the website.

Who are the team?

The team, led by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, was selected in November 2015 following a unanimous recommendation from the design competition’s jury panel.

The full team includes Bystrup, Robin Snell and Partners, ÅF Lighting, Aecom, COWI, David Bonnett Associates and DP9.

Is the design finalised?

No. Wandsworth Council launched a competition to find a professional team which could help develop a bridge design. As part of the competition exercise, the competing teams were asked to prepare outline proposals to help illustrate their approach. The winning team’s concept design will now be developed further.

Where will the bridge be located?

The exact location of the bridge has yet to be decided but it will be located between Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea Bridge. A number of locations were identified by TfL’s feasibility study and work is ongoing to assess the most appropriate position.

Will access to the bridge be for everyone?

Yes. The bridge will be free to use, open 24 hours a day and accessible to all cyclists and pedestrians travelling in both directions. It will be car free.

Is it safe to have pedestrians and cyclists on the same bridge?

Evidence shows that pedestrians and cyclists can safely share a bridge as long as there is enough space and proper marking of the lanes. In cities with a great many cyclists, it is taken for granted that these groups can quite easily co-exist.

How much will the bridge cost to build?

The final cost will be confirmed as the design solution is developed.

Who will pay for it?

£26 million in private sector funding has been identified from the development of Nine Elms. Further funding options will be explored in tandem with developing a detailed design.

Does it have planning permission?

Not at this stage. Before submitting any planning applications, the design needs to be developed further and a location finalised and there will be consultation with local residents and businesses, Londoners more widely and other stakeholders.

How long will it take to build and when will it be open?

We are in the early stages of consultation and it is premature to confirm a construction programme or completion date at this time.

What are the next steps?

Over the coming months there is further technical and feasibility work to be undertaken by the design team. The team are committed to working with communities and stakeholders on both sides of the river to develop a detailed design which can be taken through the planning process.