A curvy footbridge planned for east London will be wider than originally planned after the local council agreed to fund a larger bridge to carry more people.

Original width: Source – planning documents, Moxon Architects with Buro Happold and Eadon Consulting

The Royal Victoria Dock Bridge will span the docks, linking a large housing development of around 6,500 new homes around the derelict Millenium Mills to Custom House station for the DLR and Elizabeth line.

The development on the south side of the Royal Victoria Dock, and there is an existing bridge across the dock to the north side. However, it’s very high up and the lifts are often broken. It’s also pretty scary to cross when the wind is strong, and not easy for cyclists to use either.

With an estimated 14,000 residents and 10,000 jobs being created, the new development needed a bigger and better bridge to link the two sides of the docks. What has been proposed is a curving low-level bridge for both pedestrians and cyclists, which will be an addition to the existing high-level bridge.

Red shows the desire route for short bridge compared to final design in green: Source – planning documents, Moxon Architects with Buro Happold and Eadon Consulting

During the pre-application discussions with the developer, Newham Council said they wanted the bridge’s capacity to be increased, which means a wider bridge. That change in design is part of the reason for the cost of the bridge increasing from the original £28 million estimate to £41 million.

To ensure the bridge will be built with a higher capacity than originally expected, the council has agreed to provide £13.2 million to the development. Part of the rationale put forward by the council for funding the increased capacity is that about a third of the bridge users are expected to be residents who already live in the area. Therefore, existing council taxpayers will benefit if the bridge is built to a higher capacity.

Because the council funding support will be funded by borrowing, it will add just under £1 million a year to Newham Council’s capital financing costs over a 50-year timeframe. However, once built, the bridge’s running costs will be funded by residents in the new Silvertown development at no further cost to Newham Council.

The original width design: Source – planning documents, Moxon Architects with Buro Happold and Eadon Consulting


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  1. Peter p says:

    10,000 jobs?
    Maintenance funded by residents?

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