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Idea to charge people to walk over Rotherhithe Bridge laughed out of Canada Water forum

The idea that people should pay with their Oyster Card to walk across the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge was raised at the Canada Water Forum on Monday May 23 and “went down like a lead balloon”, writes Alex Yeates…

Miles Price, head of projects at British Land (a potential funder of the bridge), asked at the meeting: “What do attendees think of the idea of bridge users using their Oyster Cards to get across?”

The question is said to have been met with laughter among the crowd with one member of the public replying: “Are you genuinely serious? You want people to pay to walk?”

British Land is looking to start a fifteen year project involving five landmark buildings at Canada Water including a 50 storey high tower and are said to possibly benefit if the bridge went ahead.

Steve Cornish, an organiser of the meeting, said: “British Land will have to put a big chunk into the bridge because of their new flats being so close by. They’ll probably put it on their leaflets to help sell them.

“Miles said it could be hard to find money for the bridge. It was just an idea but didn’t go very well.”

The proposed bridge in Rotherhithe has the backing of newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan and would see people connected to Canary Wharf by 2020.

Resident Gary Glover, present at the meeting, said: “They flagged it up as a funding possibility. It went down like a lead balloon.

“It’s a bit farcical. The Garden Bridge would be free but us in Rotherhithe would have to pay? It’s a bit of a nonsense.”

A spokesperson from British Land confirmed that it was not a definitive suggestion of how to fund the project but rather it was intended to be a conversation starter for the room.

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