Introducing the Thames Deckway Project
Our mission is to provide a state-of-the-art, traffic-free bicycle and pedestrian pathway through the heart of London for commuters, city dwellers and visitors to enjoy.
Tim Smit Chairman Co-Founder Eden Project Trust says
"The Thames is the artery that makes London such a unique and diverse city. To open it up in this way is an extraordinarily bold statement of joy and self-confidence in our capital, but more than that it will tempt countless people to venture out to the least explored areas of the City and in doing so will open up opportunities to spread wealth and opportunities further and wider than ever before.
For us this is a marvellously democratic statement from a City intent on bringing life to every corner of itself and investing in both the physical and cultural health of its people and those who visit it. More than any number of galleries and museums, this investment puts down a marker that says something about our civilisation and which speaks of a bright future that remains ours to shape. We wholeheartedly commend it to you."
About the Thames Deckway
Innovative floating cycle path proposed for the river Thames in London challenges conventional transportation thinking
What we can build
London needs to think outside the box of conventional solutions to solve its deep-seated traffic and pollution problems. One of the answers is staring London in the face. The river Thames, London’s main transportation thoroughfare from Roman times up to the 19th century, is underutilised as a major travel artery except for a small number of tourist and commuter boats and industrial transport. The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London’s infrastructure problems. What is needed is imagination to unleash it..
Proposed as the first step in reinvigorating the river’s historical role as a major movement corridor is a unique concept for a floating pathway called the Thames Deckway. It complements Transport for London’s plan for a new east-west cycling route through central London on the river’s north side by running a similar route on the south side along the river itself.
Designed for commuter cyclists, leisure cyclists and pedestrians alike and completely traffic-free, it will potentially stretch for 12 kilometres along the river from Battersea to Canary Wharf, a distance that a fit cyclist can pedal in about 30 minutes. From either Battersea or Canary Wharf to the Thames Deckway’s prospective mid- point of the Millennium Bridge could take as little as 15 minutes on a bike.
The proposed Thames Deckway will run close to the river’s edge. Well away from the main navigation channel, it will rise and fall gently with the Thames’ tidal cycle. There will be embankment ramps at strategic intervals and plenty of stopping points along the way to enjoy the views and relax at refreshment kiosks. The Thames Deckway will be able to host its own bicycle fleet, tailored specially for family use and offering infant carriages, child bicycles, tandems and tricycles for hire. Commuter cyclists only will use it during rush hours. The Thames Deckway will generate its own energy from a combination of sun, tide and wind and be entirely non-polluting. Safety and security of cyclists and pedestrians will be the number one priority. Traffic density, traffic flow, river motion, river wave and any hazardous traffic or weather conditions will be monitored continuously by satellites, weather stations and on-board sensors that relay information directly to the Thames Deckway’s users.
How we can build
The new Thames Deckway concept is an independent environmental and social impact venture. It can be built with private investment attracted by the appeal of its long-term financial return prospects. River Cycleway’s financial projections show that it will cost approximately £600 million to build from Battersea to Canary Wharf. With a flat rate single ticket price in the region of £1.50, it has considerable potential as a generator of healthy, sustained revenues. A team behind the project is in formation led by a new company, River Cycleway Consortium Ltd. The team so far includes Britain’s leading engineering firm Arup, developers of innovative structures that include the Sydney Opera House and Centre Pompidou in Paris and Hugh Broughton Architects, designers of the acclaimed Halley VI Antarctic Research Station. River Cycleway Consortium Ltd is working with Kemp Little LLP as advisers in the field of technology law. River Cycleway’s initial focus is on tracking down funding for a detailed study of the project’s environmental, operational, constructional and financial feasibility as the first vital step. With a positive feasibility study outcome followed by private project financing, design, engineering and regulatory and environmental approvals, a streamlined construction programme could have the first Thames Deckway phase in place and ready for London’s cyclists and pedestrians in as little as two years from full go-ahead.