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 with their own agendas.

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.