Lower Lea Bridges

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Background

The River Lea forms the historic and geographic core of the Lower Lea Valley, marking the borough boundary between Tower Hamlets and Newham. Rich in wildlife and providing valuable open space for local communities, it is one of the most important natural, heritage and cultural assets in the borough.

There is currently no way to cross the River Lea between the A13 at Canning Town and Twelvetrees at Bromley-by Bow, a distance of over one mile. To compare, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park there are opportunities to cross water every 200 metres on average, and between Islington and Victoria Park the Regents Canal can be crossed every 270 metres. Along with busy main roads such as the nearby A12 and A13, the river forms a physical barrier for the local community. This same area is poised for significant residential and commercial growth, and without connections along and across the river many future pedestrian and cycle journeys will be forced to use busy roads.

In response, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) and London Borough of Newham (LBN) are working in partnership with Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to pursue a number of initiatives to tackle these severance issues in the Lower Lea Valley. Some projects have recently been completed as part of the Lea River Park masterplan such as new ramps at Twelvetrees and Canning Town as well as a new river bridge at City Island. As new developments come forward in the Leaside, a continuous river path – The Leaway - is gradually being stitched together, allowing use of the river for commuting, exercising and socialising.

Location Plan




Programme

The two councils are now working together on a wider programme of seven connectivity projects in the Lower Lea Valley. This programme of bridges and links will help overcome the severance and isolation in the area, providing new routes to jobs and transport links for existing and new residents.

A partnership development framework has been entered into by LBTH and LBN to progress the delivery of three new priority river pedestrian and cycle bridges with allocated funding from public bodies and the two council’s Capital Programmes.

Led by the Regeneration Teams from Tower Hamlets and Newham, the Lower Lea Bridges Programme is currently focusing on the priority bridges in the stretch of the River Lea at Bow Creek north of the A13 Road Bridge and South of the Twelvetrees bridge, which include.

Delivery of the priority bridges is expected to commence in 2022, starting with the Lochnagar Bridge and all three bridges are expected to be open for public use by 2025.

Benefits

The emerging 2021 Leaside AAP led by Tower Hamlets sets out a vision for improved connectivity in the Lower Lea Valley:

“By 2031, the Lower Lea Valley will experience comprehensive regeneration and redevelopment of former and underused industrial areas. Connectivity will be transformed with a series of new bridges and riverside walkways across the River Lea, and crossings along the A12 and A13, which will integrate existing and new communities in the area.”

The bridges aim is to join together existing and new residential areas into a series of healthy and prosperous neighbourhoods. By addressing the challenge of physical severance in the area, the Bridges Programme will deliver wider social and economic benefits for both boroughs estimated to outweigh the costs by 13 to 1. The programme has the potential to bring over £250m in economic benefits and £26.7m worth of environmental benefits. The bridges will facilitate an estimated 15 million pedestrian and cycle trips per year, providing greater access to and from employment areas and transport interchanges at Canning Town and Bromley By Bow. In addition, the bridges will:

  • Facilitate access for local residents and users to and from green open spaces at Langdon Park, Three Mills Green and the Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Reduce walking journey times from existing and new Leaside communities and estates at Aberfeldy, Teviot and Leven Road Gasworks to transport interchanges such as Canning Town Station by 10-15 minutes
  • Encourage access to the Leaway Walk for everyday activities such as commuting, exercise or walking a dog
  • Promote walking and cycling and help to deliver the Mayor's aim for 80% of all London trips to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041
  • Support use of the river by boat as a local distribution network

The bridges will be designed to be accessible for all users, celebrate the industrial heritage of the local area, create attractive local landmarks and target appropriate standards in terms of climate change and net zero targets. The bridges will also facilitate opportunities for more an estimated 10,000 local construction jobs and more than 300 local apprenticeships in emerging nearby residential developments.


Extract from Vision for Lower Lea Valley Plan, Tower Hamlets Local Plan



Background

The River Lea forms the historic and geographic core of the Lower Lea Valley, marking the borough boundary between Tower Hamlets and Newham. Rich in wildlife and providing valuable open space for local communities, it is one of the most important natural, heritage and cultural assets in the borough.

There is currently no way to cross the River Lea between the A13 at Canning Town and Twelvetrees at Bromley-by Bow, a distance of over one mile. To compare, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park there are opportunities to cross water every 200 metres on average, and between Islington and Victoria Park the Regents Canal can be crossed every 270 metres. Along with busy main roads such as the nearby A12 and A13, the river forms a physical barrier for the local community. This same area is poised for significant residential and commercial growth, and without connections along and across the river many future pedestrian and cycle journeys will be forced to use busy roads.

In response, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) and London Borough of Newham (LBN) are working in partnership with Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to pursue a number of initiatives to tackle these severance issues in the Lower Lea Valley. Some projects have recently been completed as part of the Lea River Park masterplan such as new ramps at Twelvetrees and Canning Town as well as a new river bridge at City Island. As new developments come forward in the Leaside, a continuous river path – The Leaway - is gradually being stitched together, allowing use of the river for commuting, exercising and socialising.

Location Plan




Programme

The two councils are now working together on a wider programme of seven connectivity projects in the Lower Lea Valley. This programme of bridges and links will help overcome the severance and isolation in the area, providing new routes to jobs and transport links for existing and new residents.

A partnership development framework has been entered into by LBTH and LBN to progress the delivery of three new priority river pedestrian and cycle bridges with allocated funding from public bodies and the two council’s Capital Programmes.

Led by the Regeneration Teams from Tower Hamlets and Newham, the Lower Lea Bridges Programme is currently focusing on the priority bridges in the stretch of the River Lea at Bow Creek north of the A13 Road Bridge and South of the Twelvetrees bridge, which include.

Delivery of the priority bridges is expected to commence in 2022, starting with the Lochnagar Bridge and all three bridges are expected to be open for public use by 2025.

Benefits

The emerging 2021 Leaside AAP led by Tower Hamlets sets out a vision for improved connectivity in the Lower Lea Valley:

“By 2031, the Lower Lea Valley will experience comprehensive regeneration and redevelopment of former and underused industrial areas. Connectivity will be transformed with a series of new bridges and riverside walkways across the River Lea, and crossings along the A12 and A13, which will integrate existing and new communities in the area.”

The bridges aim is to join together existing and new residential areas into a series of healthy and prosperous neighbourhoods. By addressing the challenge of physical severance in the area, the Bridges Programme will deliver wider social and economic benefits for both boroughs estimated to outweigh the costs by 13 to 1. The programme has the potential to bring over £250m in economic benefits and £26.7m worth of environmental benefits. The bridges will facilitate an estimated 15 million pedestrian and cycle trips per year, providing greater access to and from employment areas and transport interchanges at Canning Town and Bromley By Bow. In addition, the bridges will:

  • Facilitate access for local residents and users to and from green open spaces at Langdon Park, Three Mills Green and the Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Reduce walking journey times from existing and new Leaside communities and estates at Aberfeldy, Teviot and Leven Road Gasworks to transport interchanges such as Canning Town Station by 10-15 minutes
  • Encourage access to the Leaway Walk for everyday activities such as commuting, exercise or walking a dog
  • Promote walking and cycling and help to deliver the Mayor's aim for 80% of all London trips to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041
  • Support use of the river by boat as a local distribution network

The bridges will be designed to be accessible for all users, celebrate the industrial heritage of the local area, create attractive local landmarks and target appropriate standards in terms of climate change and net zero targets. The bridges will also facilitate opportunities for more an estimated 10,000 local construction jobs and more than 300 local apprenticeships in emerging nearby residential developments.


Extract from Vision for Lower Lea Valley Plan, Tower Hamlets Local Plan



  • Homes England Seed Funding Submitted

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    A bid for Early Intervention funding has been submitted to Homes England. If received, this funding would contribute towards the cost of four key studies supporting the council's priority strategic infrastructure projects in the Lower Lea Valley, including the Lower Lea Bridges Programme.


  • Successful Levelling Up Bid

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    Following the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement (27 October), Newham Council’s two Levelling Up bids have been given the green light by government, with nearly £40m awarded to the local authority – the highest award out of the £65m allocated to London.

    A sum of £2m from their Connecting the Opportunity bid is secured for Lochnagar Bridge while another £500K is secured for cultural interventions to the Leaway Path.

    Today’s announcement will bring much needed funding to support the Council’s ambitious agenda for economic growth, skills and place-making in the borough through its Connected Neighbourhood’s programme, linked to the use of data and digital technologies; and 15 Minute Neighbourhoods to promote health and well-being and respond to the climate emergency through investment in upgrading neighbourhood infrastructure.

    Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said:

    “I’m delighted that both our Levelling Up bids to government have been successful, and we’ve been awarded the full amount that we had bid for. My thanks to Lyn Brown MP and Stephen Timms MP for backing our bids; as well as our partners including the Mayor of London. We’ll now get cracking with delivering these much needed programmes for the benefit of our residents and linked to our recovery plans because the economic and heath impact of Covid-19 has been huge and damaging for our communities.”

    “However, the national Levelling Up debate, pitting the north over the south, has skewed the reality of scarring inequalities that exist across London. That’s why we must continue pressing for fairer funding to all of local government, especially areas of huge deprivation like East London, so that no community is ignored or forgotten.”

  • LBN Cabinet Approves £1.75m in Capital Funding for enabling works

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    Newham obtained cabinet approval on 20 July for an initial £1.75m of capital funding and can now be drawn down. This will help fund Newham’s share of the enabling, feasibility and design phase of the programme, including matters such as land acquisition, design and planning advice and technical support.


  • Made Gill Bridge Artwork - The Line

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    As part of the Madge Gill Nature in Mind exhibition, the Line has installed a digitally reproduced artwork, wrapped around the Cody Dock arched UKPN cable bridge in summer 2021. The Line has been working with UKPN to secure approval for this, supported by St William. The work is scheduled to be in place for approximately two years until 2023.

Page last updated: 10 Mar 2022, 12:22 PM