Protesters take sides as campaign against controversial plan for Nine Elms bridge grows, by Alina Polianskaya – West End Extra
CAMPAIGNERS packed into a full council meeting this week to warn against controversial plans for a new bridge linking Pimlico and Battersea.
The Nine Elms bridge is expected to bring more than 18,000 extra commuters into Pimlico each day and people fear a loss of precious green space by the river.
Porchester Hall erupted in cheers and thunderous applause on Wednesday when a petition against the Pimlico to Nine Elms Bridge project was handed in to the council, following a protest outside the building.
Peter York, who lives in Pimlico, told the West End Extra: “No one but no one on this side of the river has supported or requested it. It is very odd to have a bridge whose genesis is entirely one-sided. It is for the convenience of developers, developing plans for absentee owners.”
Tachbrook ward councillor Angela Harvey, who is leading the campaign, said: “Pimlico is a lovely residential area. It is really mixed, people just get along. But Wandsworth are saying let’s plonk this bridge here and send 18,000 people across. Churchill Gardens Estate would have all the people going through there. Pimlico tube station would also become two-thirds busier. They would only be coming to transit, not work, live or shop, but just pass through.”
A survey handed to residents by the Federation of Pimlico Residents Associations, which asked for feedback on the bridge, found that around 97 per cent of responses so far were against it. Chairman of Pimlico FREDA, Edward Reeve, said: “We don’t think that the bridge is going to enhance the quiet village atmosphere of Pimlico. We think it will cause massive traffic jams on Grosvenor Road. It is likely to be 4,000 journeys an hour, which is a terrific number of people moving over Grosvenor Road. And where are they going to go after that? There is no real destination for them.” > Read the full article on West End Extra.
You can still add your voice to the feedback form we originally published here: Nine Elms Bridge Survey.
See also: Westminster Public Enquiry on Nine Elms Bridge.
Pimlico FREDA has decided to put its weight behind a Westminster City Council initiative to oppose the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge. They’re inviting local residents, businesses and others from both sides of the River to discuss how Wandsworth’s plans would impact on people’s lives.
Invitation to Council debate on Pimlico Nine Elms Bridge
Wandsworth’s decision on the design proposals for their Nine Elms Bridge is imminent. The proposed bridge will damage residents’ quality of life in Pimlico and remove public access to the riverside. Wherever such a bridge lands in Pimlico, it is estimated that 18,000 people, as nice as they are, will cross the bridge every day, transiting through one of the quietest residential areas of Westminster.
Depending upon the location chosen, it will destroy magnificent heritage trees, threaten the Westminster Boating Base charity, eliminate tennis courts and open sports and games lawns, and turn our quiet residential streets, squares and byways into commuter highways.
Local councillors have worked with the community for many decades to retain and build Pimlico as a residential village and to create the community spirit we have here today. If built, this bridge will change Pimlico forever.
Please come to the Council Meeting to show that you are against the bridge and you support your council’s efforts to stop it.
The meeting starts at 7pm on Wednesday 11th November at the Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, London W2 5HA, the temporary Council House. Come along at 6.30pm on Wednesday to meet Cllr Angela Harvey who will be presenting the local community leaders’ petition (see overleaf) and speaking at the meeting.
To: The Lord Mayor and Councillors of Westminster City Council
We the undersigned community leaders in Pimlico applaud Westminster City Council’s determined opposition to the unwanted and unnecessary Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge which is projected to bring some 18,000 cyclists and pedestrians every day into the residential neighbourhood of Pimlico simply to transit to other places.
Local Councillors have worked with the community for many decades to retain and build Pimlico as a residential village and to create the community spirit we have here today. Where ever such a bridge lands in Pimlico it will damage our quality of life and remove public access to the riverside and, depending upon the location chosen, will destroy magnificent heritage trees, threaten the Westminster Boating Base charity, eliminate tennis courts and sports and games lawns, and will turn our quiet residential streets, squares and byways into commuter highways.
Our community associations have already sent petitions signed by over 1,500 residents to the Mayor of London strongly objecting to this wasteful and damaging project.
We ask the Leader of the Council to continue to fight the imposition of this unnecessary and expensive bridge which will bring no benefit to Pimlico but will do much damage to the people of Pimlico.
Edward Reeve, Chairman of Pimlico Federation of Residents Associations
Nick Walker, Dolphin Square Tenants
This Council Meeting debate on the Nine Elms Bridge has been organised by Councillor Angela Harvey. You can contact her on 020 7730 8181. The Westminster Conservatives have set up a dedicated email address just for the bridge so you can get in touch with them at email@example.com
Find out more about the background to the Nine Elms Pimlico bridge, previous campaigns and much more, see the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge [Summary] page which also has some lively debate in the comments section. Please feel free to join that conversation or start your own comment thread below.
You can view and download the PDF (190Kb) of the flyer issued by FREDA.
Info from Councillor Angela Harvey:
Because the old Marylebone town hall is under refurbishment we currently hold our council meetings in Bayswater, in the Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, London W2 5HA. Nearest tubes Bayswater / Royal Oak. The evening will run something like this but please note the timings in the Council Meeting itself are very approximate:
- 6.30pm supporters meet on the street outside the Hall with a big banner (as yet unmade), and hopefully a couple of kayaks if I can persuade the Boating Base, so that we can have a great photo for the press to publish.
- 7pm the formal Full Council Meeting commences
As two deaths have occurred since the last Full Council Meeting which are important to the Council, there will be tributes paid and this will add some 15 minutes to the agenda. (The Immediate Past Lord Mayor, Audrey Lewis, and Illtyd Harrington (former leader of the Opposition in Westminster, you may remember him at the old GLC, etc.)
- Approx 7.25pm: Item 6 is for petitions – although No9elmsbridge is not listed I will present to the Lord Mayor your petition
- Approx 7.30pm: Item 7- 45 minutes of councillors’ questions to Leader and Cabinet Members on matters all and sundry
- Approx 8.15pm: Item 8, Councillor’s issues. Mine, No9elmsbridge, is second and the Leader will reply. This will be the end of any No to Nine Elms Bridge items.
- Approx 8.35pm: Item 9 etc.
If people have only a little time then coming for any one of the three parts would be great. Any kayaks and banners would be most welcome at the first part – they will not be admitted to the hall for the meeting. The petition giving will take only a minute so may be missed if the tributes are shorter than I’ve said. Likewise there is no exact time for the speech and reply. If people have only an hour then I would suggest press photo and petition.
Churchill Ward Councillor Jason Williams told us:
Wandsworth should call time on this unwanted vanity project. They’ve refused to listen to a large number of residents in Pimlico who don’t want the bridge, there has been a large community petition against the bridge and a wide ranging community campaign and yet Wandsworth still plough on without regard to the views of residents. We call on Cllr Govindia to cancel this project before even more public money is spent on its development.
The proposed landing point threatens Pimlico Gardens which is the only remaining green open space by the river but there is also community opposition to the other proposed landing places by Grosvenor Rail Bridge. Grosvenor road is already a very busy road and any bridge is bound to have safety implications. It is also right next to the Chelsea bridge.
We wrote to Cllr Govindia asking him to end the project but no response was received.
This page will be updated with news and developments as they happen. If you think we’re missing something, please get in touch and tell us or use the comments below.