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Nine Elms Bridge: Carbuncle, Classic or Con?

Cry Me A River

We have every right to criticise the knee-jerk nimbyism that has skewered deserving projects in the Capital while giving a free pass to mediocre constructions that aren’t quite bad enough to raise a fuss. The usually perceptive NLA Chairman Peter Murray has suggested that criticism of the Nine Elms cycle bridge can be similarly attributed to elderly, change-resistant residents, and local politicians who are ideologically opposed to developer-led initiatives.

They are mistaken: this project is marketing-led. Developers build things, whether carbuncles or future classics. Marketers not so much. The money hasn’t been spent on really useful things, like proper transport integration studies1. It’s been spent on things that evaporate: PR campaigns, press releases, lovely images, great presentation. It’s a very well appointed project, but when it fades away it will leave very little behind except perhaps some cool, smooth Corian and stainless steel in a few corporate foyers.

Nine Elms Cycle Bridge: Failed To Connect

Nine Elms Cycle Bridge fails to connect with Pimlico

Wandsworth’s Nine Elms Cycle Bridge PR, strategists and lobbyists sent invites for a get-together aimed at reaching out to us folks North of the River to tell us about the work they have been doing over the last two years since Bystrup won the competition.

The meeting was billed as a consultation exercise for the NEPB team to provide technical updates, answer questions and receive feedback. Developers need to show a list of public consultations and although these events are often box-ticking exercises, they can sometimes be helpful, so we all went along to DP9’s expansive office on Pall Mall to find out the latest.