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Wandsworth Council launches design competition for £50m Nine Elms footbridge

A competition to design a £50m foot and cycle bridge in central London has been opened by Wandsworth Council.

Designers have been invited to enter the competition to create a new river crossing, which will link the Nine Elms district with Pimlico’s north embankment.

The bridge is part of a £1bn infrastructure package to regenerate Nine Elms.

Other projects include a £600m Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea, improvements to existing rail stations and two riverbus piers as well as a network of cycle lanes, footpaths and parks.

Nine Elms has received £26m of investment to date, with hopes that the new design will encourage further funding.

The 480 acre district will create up to 1,000 apprenticeships, 22,000 jobs during construction and 25,000 jobs post-construction.

A 2013 study by Transport for London said it found a strong case for a new bridge at Nine Elms to provide an alternative to the Chelsea or Vauxhall bridges.

The analysis showed that by 2031, demand could reach 9,000 pedestrians and 9,000 cyclists.

The bridge would be London’s eighth highest-used pedestrian crossing and the sixth highest-used cyclist crossing.

Entries will be judged by Rogers Stirk Harbour senior partner Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsey, CABE chair Pam Alexander and leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia.

Councillor Govindia is also chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership.

Mr Govindia said: “This bridge has the potential to become an inspiring landmark, heralding the changes that are taking place south of the river and making vital connections to the north shore. The transport case is strong and this will be a valuable and sustainable addition to London’s transport infrastructure.

He added that the bridge must be usable for both cyclists and pedestrians, while providing headroom for river traffic and a functional, innovative design.

“The design must also win the hearts and minds of Londoners, particularly the people living in the local area.”

The competition opened on 8 December and has been broken up into two phases.

Details can be found at www.nepbridgecompetition.co.uk.

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