Rotherhithe Bridge

Rotherhithe Bridge Closed
Rotherhithe Bridge Half Open
Rotherhithe Bridge Open
Rotherhithe Bridge by night

London's first pedestrian and cycle bridge

I supportThe Rotherhithe Bridge


The Rotherhithe Bridge opens a new chapter in the life of the River Thames and the City of London. The proposed bridge will connect south east London to the docklands peninsular and make sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters.

Sustrans and the reForm / Elliott Wood team have independently explored the viability of a bridge connecting Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf for several years, and recently joined forces to identify the constraints and progress the project.

Based on an initial design concept by Nik Randall, reForm Architects has worked in partnership with Elliott Wood engineers to develop initial proposals for the longest bascule opening bridge in the world.

The central span supported by cables from raked masts forms a double wishbone-like structure which, with the help of hydraulic rams, pivots to allow tall ships to pass.

The Rotherhithe Bridge has a unique design; its elegant and sleek form provides both a cost efficient solution to congestion and adds another landmark to one of the world’s greatest cities.

Rotherhithe Bridge Map


Animation of Rotherhithe Bridge

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Animation by Keyframe Visuals


reForm Architects’ international team combines experience, commitment and innovation to offer a diverse range of clients a highly professional design led service.

Nik Randall of reForm Architects

“The Thames is one of the world’s great rivers, and London is one of the world’s great cities. Any new bridge across the Thames must respond to the significance of its setting, and add to its culture and heritage.

Our design will do this, creating an internationally recognisable landmark. Its unique and elegant form and operation will become an attraction for visitors. It will enhance the views along and across the Thames, providing scale and interest in the way that the ships on the river itself do.”

Nik Randall of reForm Architects

Over the last 20 years Elliott Wood has developed a reputation for delivering high quality, award winning, structural and civil engineering solutions. Creativity and innovation are at the core of our approach.

Gary Elliott of Elliott Wood Engineers

“This is a hugely complex engineering challenge that we are delighted to be involved with. This bridge is fitting for such a significant location and would deliver tremendous benefits for Londoners. Not only in improving connectivity between the currently underserved area of Rotherhithe and the north bank of the river, but by offering pedestrians and cyclists a dedicated crossing that is safe and enjoyable to use.”

Gary Elliott of Elliott Wood Engineers

reForm Architects - LondonLive

Interview with Gary Elliott and Nik Randall for London Live

Arup Cost Management have worked within the team to develop a robust cost model based on established market data.

Sustrans led the feasibility study and commissioned the reForm / Elliott Wood team to deliver the design work in support of the study.


Bachy Soletanche
Eadon Consulting
Hunger Hydraulic UK
IAA Architecten
David Becker Lighting


The reForm / Elliott Wood team is now seeking private funding to help deliver the next phase of the project. To pledge your support please get in contact.

What people are saying...

Richard de Cani, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning said:

“As London’s population grows towards 10 million people, we need a number of new river crossings to improve connectivity and reduce congestion on existing road and rail services. A new pedestrian and cycle crossing between the Isle of Dogs and Rotherhithe and Canada Water would encourage more people to walk and cycle to Canary Wharf, improving access to amenities and jobs and providing an alternative to the Jubilee line for shorter trips”

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport said:

“More than a third of London’s expected population growth is expected to happen in East London and we urgently need more crossings – for all types of transport users. So we are delighted to be able to offer this funding to help progress the proposed cycling and walking bridge.”

5 Feb 15 – Southwark News – “View from Westminster” by Simon Hughes MP:

“… I have also persuaded government to take seriously the proposal for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. For the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians, this will shorten and improve the journey between north and south bank, downstream of Tower Bridge …”

Dec 14 – HM Treasury “National Infrastructure Plan 2014”

“An interesting proposal and worth looking at in more detail, would be a new pedestrian and cycle bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf”

Dec 14 – British Land proposals “Canada Water Masterplan”

“British Land are aware of a range of other aspirations for transport upgrades being discussed in the area and will work with the promoters of these as more detail comes forward. Some of these include: aspirations for a cycle and pedestrian bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf”


Councillor Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport stated [best efforts transcription from a recording]:

“we support the potential pedestrian and cycling bridge between Canary Wharf and the Rotherhithe peninsula and indeed to connect to sustainable transport to the west of the borough”


New London Architecture Peoples’ Choice Award:

“The Peoples Choice winner celebrates the will of two communities to have a link across the river. Receiving an overwhelming number of votes from those two neighbourhoods and those further afield, the new bridge would become one of the first bridges east of Tower Bridge. The scheme was praised by voters for its green credentials and innovation, with ‘references to London’s heritage as a 21st century Tower Bridge’ whilst being ‘highly functional; enhancing communications and facilitating work and community links'”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

“What a great project this is. It points to the future of river crossings in London. It is a fantastic opportunity to give this part of London a much-needed cycling and pedestrian crossing. “The bridge will relieve pressure on the Jubilee line at Canada Water, offer a huge boost for jobs and homes while promoting greener ways of crossing the Thames.”

British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman

“A new cycling bridge would ease the pressure on transport and make cycling an attractive option for thousands of people in a growing east and south east London. With bicycles now outnumbering cars on most crossings the bridge would also serve as a spectacular statement from the new mayor that cycling is a core part of the capital’s transport strategy.”

Oliver Wainwright, Guardian Architecture and Design Critic

“The two sides simply pivot, allowing the angled masts to slot effortlessly into the wishbone-shaped decks at either side. The result is an exceptionally lean structure, which looks like a pair if whale bones held in fine balance.”

Caroline Pidgeon, Deputy Chair (now Chair) of the London Assembly's Transport Committee

“A pedestrian and cycling bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf would provide a vital link where at present there is a total lack of adequate provision for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Bridge Facts

Length (Openable span) 184m (2½ x jumbo jet)
Height 74m closed, 98m open (above water)
Weight (Openable span steel) 1200 tons (4 x weight of jumbo jet)
Deck Width 2 x 5m decks
Closed Height 20m (above high water)
Estimated Construction Cost £88m
Work Done opening 350MJ
Cost per lift £9 (2015 prices)
Open/close time 4 minutes

Design Registration

© Nik Randall, reForm Architects Limited

Design Registration: Nik Randall, reForm Architects Limited
Design Registration No: EU number 002627687-0001 & UK number 4039251


For more information or to register your support please contact:

Robert Pine / Jenny Jobs at ING MEDIA on 020 7247 8334
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