The Battersea Society: Planning Application submission Welcome to the Battersea Society website


Planning Submission


Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 24 July 2017 at 12:46:06

Nine Elms Pimlico Bridge

Response from the Planning Committee of the Battersea Society


Introduction


Considerable time and public money has already been expended on a scheme which appears from this consultation still to be at an early stage.  As we understand it, apart from the outline design, consultation on the project is effectively starting again.


The timeline on the website says that there is a ‘technical and feasibility study underway ahead of public consultation’.  We did not see results from any study but rather a suggestion that a minimum of nine possible crossing points are being considered.  There remains no public support from Westminster Council nor from residents to the north of the Thames. 


While the quality of presentation and engagement were much improved from earlier exhibitions, we remain neutral to unconvinced about the proposals for a new bridge and are left with a number of observations on the material and further questions rather than firm views one way or the other. 


Given that, we are pleased to have engaged with the new team and look forward to participating in further consultation as the project goes forward. 


Concept for the bridge 


i.  filling up the space between Vauxhall and Grosvenor/Chelsea Bridges 


We rather like seeing a stretch of the Thames without visual intrusion especially as this particular stretch has the visual richness of the park and river walk in front of the Power Station.


We understand from earlier discussions about the height of the bridge structure, and hence the extent to which many residents would have their upstream view of the Thames blocked out, that the soffit would have to be about a metre higher than the soffit of Vauxhall Bridge. 


Given this, our preference is likely to be for a bridge alongside Grosvenor Rail Bridge.  This would have the benefit of connecting directly with the new tube station and retail complex at Battersea Power Station as well as adding an attractive design to an existing utilitarian structure.  On the north side it would connect with the 24 and 360 routes and provide further integration with other popular central London visitor attractions. 


We think there may be a longer stretch of ‘empty’ river between Battersea and Cremorne Railway Bridge and are fully supportive of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge alongside the Cremorne Railway Bridge. 


ii.  shared cycle and pedestrian bridge


We are very concerned at the frightening impact of many cyclists on pedestrians both on shared pathways and on pavements and other pedestrian paths where cycling is forbidden but where in the absence of enforcement it takes place. 


We were pleased to hear of the willingness of the team to benefit from the experience of other cities in dealing with this.  We like the idea of the cycling route being a ‘quietway’ with courier and commuter cycle traffic restricted to cycling super highways.  We find it hard to see how this could be enforced. 


We understand that a pedestrian only bridge is not being considered. 


iii.  Access to the bridge 


The bridge needs to be easily reached by those with disabilities and with prams.  We noted one display board showing a design with spiral landing ramps at either end which would bring the traffic to the river bank at the existing ground level.  This is a sensible way of avoiding the need for lifts or stairs. 


iv.  Likely traffic across the bridge 


We look forward to seeing the results of an updated study and consider the existing desk-top study to be inadequate as well as out of date. 


Conclusion 


We welcome the team’s approach and found the consultation experience vastly improved from that relating to the bridge design and associated public exhibitions.


 


However this project is still at a very early stage and we look forward to discussing the outcome of this latest consultation with the project team in due course.  We would like an updated and more detailed Time Line to be made available. 


July 2017