Rotherhithe Bridge

Rotherhithe Bridge


The design by reForm Architects & Elliott Wood Engineers that everyone expects to be built is not even being considered by TFL – If you want it to be considered please subscribe to our mailing list.


Following the publication of yet another feasibility study by Arcadis Engineers / Knight Architects at the start of 2018, which controversially advised against a generic bascule design, TfL commissioned a new team, again with Knight Architects but replacing Arcadis with Atkins Engineers, to develop an alternative bridge design dismissing the report’s key recommendation and instructing them to explore bascule designs.

Disappointingly, the public consultation disclosing the alternative design has been postponed since summer 2018 and is now planned to be rolled out early 2019.


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

As Rotherhithe Bridge will be a low lying bridge downstream from Tower Bridge it will need to open to allow tall ships to pass. Our innovative design uses the back masts as counterweights to the bascule deck to create a finely balanced structure that requires a very low amount of energy to use.

Rotherhithe Bridge is a cost-efficient solution to existing and predicted increased congestion, and will add an open and welcoming landmark to one of the world’s greatest cities.


Based on an initial design concept by Nik Randall, reForm Architects registered the unique design and has worked in partnership with Elliott Wood engineers over several years to develop it into a viable piece of engineering.

In 2015 Sustrans, who had independently been looking at the same need for a crossing, approached us to assist with a feasibility study. Sustrans’ work demonstrated the demand and benefits a bridge would bring to London, whilst we identified the constraints and challenges any bridge would have to address, and used our pre-existing Registered Design to test if they could be met. Since the publication of that work, we have continued to develop our design, and to ‘spread the word’ visiting local schools, meeting residents and attending community events.

The idea for a pedestrian and cycle bridge now has the support of the Mayor and Transport for London. We continue to promote our design, which is ‘ready to go’, in the hope that this much needed piece of infrastructure can be delivered as soon as possible.

Rotherhithe Bridge Map


Animation of Rotherhithe Bridge


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. It will provide a much needed crossing, enhance the views along and across the Thames, and show that London and the UK is truly ‘open for business.”

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

“Nik and I, along with our respective teams, have spent a huge amount of time conceptualizing, developing and promoting the idea of an opening bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf with no Client and no Funds. The prospect of finally being able to deliver such a critical piece of infrastructure is hugely exciting. This is a complex engineering challenge but we have absolute confidence that this can be delivered quickly, effectively and efficiently.”

Gary Elliott of Elliott Wood Engineers

BuroHappold have been selected as design delivery partners who bring substantial specialist experience and knowledge to the team.


London Live

Interview with Gary Elliott and Nik Randall for London Live


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

What people are saying...

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.”

Paul Finch, Architects Journal

“…as Margaret Hodge pointed out in her Garden Bridge report: ‘The mayor and TfL could have worked with Heatherwick Studio without a competitive procurement process but chose not to do so. Should the originator of a productive idea, pursued at the designer’s expense, be ignored in favour of an open competition? I hope the mayor and TfL… reward initiative, creativity and commitment, proving despite appearances that London truly supports architecture, design and engineering.”


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.”

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'”

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.”

Bridge Facts

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


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