Calls have been made to altogether scrap the controversial Nine Elms pedestrian bridge linking Wandsworth to Westminster, with critics labelling it a “unnecessary” and “a vanity project”.

It comes as Wandsworth Council, the local authority behind the new bridge, revealed its shortlist of four bridge designs, following 74 initial competition entries.

The demands come from Murad Gassanly, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams - all Labour councillors serving in the Churchill ward of Westminster - and follows concerns raised by residents living in Pimlico, which were soon backed up by Westminster Council itself.

They say they have been putting forward their objections to the scheme and the views of local residents to both Westminster Council and Wandsworth’s consultants since last year’s local elections, and have now written to Wandsworth Council leader Cllr Ravi Govindia to call on him to end the project.

Cllr Gassanly said: “We remain opposed to the bridge due to its impact on the local community and lack of need given the proximity of Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges, as well as the upcoming cycle superhighway.”

Cllr Talukder said: “The bridge is an unwanted vanity project. We believe the £43m could be better spent on public services rather than wasted on this project.”

And Cllr Jason Williams added: “It’s very concerning that Wandsworth keep pushing on with this project despite continual opposition from this side of the river. We have been objecting to this bridge from day one and yet Wandsworth refuse to listen to local residents.”

Wandsworth Council said it would not comment on the calls by the three councillors, and instead spoke about the shortlisted designs.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “We now have some very exciting and quite spectacular designs on the table. There is still a long way to go but these teams have given us real hope that a solution can be found to the complex challenges involved in creating a new pedestrian and cycle link across this stretch of the river.”

Among the most difficult puzzles for the design teams to overcome is the bridge height which has to rise high above the banks so large vessels can pass beneath. This has to be done without creating too steep a slope for cyclists and pedestrians.

The bridge is thought to be the first in the centre of a major world city designed around the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.

The design ideas will be on display at exhibitions in Wandsworth and Westminster and can be viewed online at

Exhibitions take place this week, with one remaining on Friday (July 24), from 9.30am-6pm at Hyde Park Room, Regus Building, 8th Floor, 50 Broadway, SW1H 0RG.

The feedback received at the exhibitions and online will be fed into the competition’s jury panel which includes Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth Councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and Chair of Cabe at the Design Council Pam Alexander.

The wining team will be named later this year.