Councillors have hit out at TfL’s decision to officially pause an upgraded ferry crossing from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.
The ferry option is now deemed to be unaffordable – despite original plans for a walking and cycling bridge being shelved over cost, too.
In board papers to be considered by TfL this week, the crossing is labelled “currently unaffordable in the context of other walking and cycling priorities.”
Council officials will meet with the deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, this week to argue the case for the scheme, despite TfL’s perilous finances.
A planned walking and cycling bridge was scrapped in June last year, after predicted costs spiralled to £600m, although a majority of local residents had backed the idea in consultation.
Southwark Council’s Johnson Situ said the move was “deeply frustrating.”
“Transport for London is facing a huge and unprecedented financial challenge in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and it’s clear difficult decisions will have to be made,” he said.
“However, the Rotherhithe to Canada Water [sic] crossing would provide a vital new route over the Thames in an under-served part of London and would mean more people can choose walking and cycling.
“The crossing would also support new homes and jobs in the area. The proposal is particularly disappointing given that the crossing had already been downgraded from the original commitment for a walking and cycling bridge.
“We feel that schemes such as these should be prioritised not paused.”
The leader of Southwark’s Liberal Democrats, Cllr Nick Johnson, added: “Anyone fancy swimming to Wapping? Frankly it’s going to be the only way to get across.
“Why can’t TFL prioritise green infrastructure like this over the polluting Silvertown Tunnel?”