TfL announced this morning that it will not continue work on the Rotherhithe Bridge due to increasing costs on the project.
The quango said it will now return to considering the feasibility of other options, including ferries, for the crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, saying “the sheer scale” of the bridge means it is currently “unaffordable.”
“The current midpoint cost estimate for the scheme is £463m, within a range that means final costs could be over £600m,” states a letter by deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander this morning which announced the decision made by TfL’s Programme and Investment committee.
“This compares to a £350m allocation in the current TfL Business Plan. The bridge is therefore unaffordable in the short to medium term, particularly in the context of TfL’s wider financial challenges.”
In the short-to-medium term, TfL are considering a ferries option to provide “the walking and cycling connectivity needed at this location” the letter states.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said the decision to pause work on the bridge was “sensible and responsible thing to do to protect the London taxpayer.”
In response to the news, Florence Eshalomi, who is the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark, said: “This announcement will be hugely disappointing for Southwark residents who have been enthusiastically supportive of TfL’s plans for the crossing.
“With such a major infrastructure project now on hold, which would be vital to boosting our local economy and opening up our city’s transport links to cyclists and pedestrians, I will be writing to TfL, alongside local councillors, to ask for answers on how the projected costs have risen so significantly.”
More details to follow.