Home East London Massive Canary Wharf drawbridge still hasn’t been built and no one knows...

Massive Canary Wharf drawbridge still hasn’t been built and no one knows why

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A huge new drawbridge in East London was supposed to have been built last year but remains years behind schedule.

A whopping £7 million was given to Tower Hamlets Council by London Councils to build the bridge on the Isle of Dogs in 2018, but work is still yet to start.

The council introduced plans for the bridge to deal with the rapidly-growing Isle of Dogs population and heavy foot traffic around the area.

One bridge joins the residential South Quay neighbourhood and Canary Wharf over the South Dock canal.

The new 25 metre-wide drawbridge would be able to lift from one side to let boats pass through the canal.

Design ideas have been taken from drawbridges in Denmark and the Netherlands to give residents an idea of what the new bridge could be like.

The ‘Butterfly Bridge’ in Copenhagen has been used as an example of what the bridge could look like

As well as being home to London’s financial centre, the Isle of Dogs is also the most densely populated area in the UK, with its 40,000 population expected to double to 100,000 in the next 10 years.

Residents argue that the new drawbridge is needed to cope with the huge number of people moving to the Isle.

However, some are already concerned about the lack of a cycle lane on the bridge as the council’s current plan is to force cyclists to dismount before crossing.

One user posted on Facebook: “It needs a cycling lane. Everyone already knows this is going to be a problem and it has a simple solution.”

Another agreed, writing: “Cycle lane essential. We will have some horrific accidents otherwise – and it just won’t be pleasurable for pedestrians to walk on.”

Isle of Dogs bridge artist's impression

The bridge could be completed by 2022 but critics say it is years behind schedule

Local councillor Andrew Wood added that the bridge was decades behind schedule but that it needed to be properly designed to make it safe for residents.

He said: “There’s an argument it’s been delayed for 20 years now because they’ve been talking about a second bridge for 20 years.

“The council have spent money in the past on previous designs but for whatever reason it never happened – we’re now on our fourth attempt.

“They are years behind schedule. During the first public consultations we were told then we’ll be finished by 2020, and here we are in October 2021.

“My other concern is that Deliveroo-style scooters will use that bridge – that could be quite dangerous.”

Tower Hamlets Council states on its website that the bridge is now expected to open in 2022.

The council said: “The South Dock Bridge project is gaining momentum and we are getting closer to delivering this exciting project that will support the development of the local area. The timelines are only guides and subject to change.”

Tower Hamlets Council has been contacted for further comment.

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