The Labour Mayor has broken a promise to deliver a cycle and pedestrian bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.
The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for the bridge since the turn of the millennium and Labour had eventually promised to deliver on the plans. Bermondsey is one of the fastest growing and most polluted parts of the capital and the cycle and pedestrian bridge was seen as a key part of developing a green transport infrastructure fit for the future. This week however, the Labour Mayor surprised everyone by stopping all plans to build the crossing.
This will be seen as the latest in a long line of failures by Labour to deliver Southwark’s green transport infrastructure. Under the Labour council and the Labour Mayor, Southwark has seen the cancelation of the Rotherhithe Bridge this week. Last week saw the termination of the zero-emission RV1 bus service. The bike-hire scheme has still not been rolled out while almost all other Inner London boroughs have full coverage, and plans for a tube station at the Bricklayers Arms have also been terminated.
With Southwark having some of the highest levels of air pollution in the capital, along with being the fastest growing, transport policy for the borough was seen as a key testcase of whether London under Labour could develop into a modern green city. It now seems clear that it cannot.
Reacting to the news, Cllr Damian O’Brien, Southwark Liberal Democrats Transport spokesperson said:
‘This is hugely disappointing news that’s come out of the blue. Labour had promised to deliver this vital cycle and pedestrian bridge and despite them failing on Bricklayers Tube station, bike-hire, and the RV1 bus, we had believed they meant it this time. Clearly we were wrong to trust them. This will become Labour’s ‘Garden Bridge’ fiasco, but more than that, it shows that Labour sadly lacks the drive, vision and ability to deliver the modern green infrastructure Southwark and London needs.’
21st of June, 2019