Residents who would be affected by the landing point of Nine Elms Bridge in Westminster have been received welcome news from the Mayor of London.
In a letter Sadiq Khan has said the river-crossing, which would stretch from Nine Elms in Battersea to Pimlico requires “the support from all affected authorities”.
The planned traffic-free bridge is being put forward by Wandsworth Council, but has attracted a growing amount of concern and opposition from those living across the Thames.
Among their fears are the bridge’s Pimlico landing point will be at St George’s Square, ruining one of the last pieces of green space in the area, and its design .
In a response to a letter sent to him by Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore, Mr Khan says: “I understand that residents in the Pimlico area have concerns about the proposal and the impact it could have on the local area.
"No further work is being undertaken by TfL (Transport for London) at this time and it is clear that any scheme requires support from all affected authorities.”
'Consultation always planned'
Labour councillors in the Churchill Ward in Pimlico Murad Gassanly, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams have welcomed the Mayor’s recognition of the concerns Pimlico residents have about the bridge and welcome his commitment that any plans would have to have the support of all authorities.
The trio said in a statement: “We call upon Wandsworth Council to stop the current project and genuinely engage with the local community.
“Wandsworth could have consulted and worked with local people but from their behaviour it’s obvious they’ve never really wanted to work with communities in Pimlico, but want to force through a bridge which will have a major impact on Pimlico without even genuinely consulting them first.”
It is a view largely shared by the ruling Conservative administration.
Last year, Heather Acton, head of sustainability at Westminster, said it was clear residents in Pimlico had "huge concerns over the location and design of a new bridge".
The design of the bridge was put up for a competition despite calls for it to be scrapped .
A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said: “We fully recognise the concerns local people and ward councillors in Pimlico have raised and clearly there is a need to build consensus before a strategic transport project like this can progress.
“The bridge is still at an early stage of design development and it has always been the intention to carry out wider consultation and engagement work as the outline proposals takes on a firmer shape.
"Westminster Council and the Mayor of London will be invited to participate fully in this process we want to ensure as many residents as possible on both sides of the river and across London can have their say.”