A design team is starting works for a new car-free bridge across the Thames in central London.

The team, led by Denmark’s Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, was commissioned by Wandsworth Council to design the Nine Elms Pimlico Bridge, which is being built specifically for pedestrians and cyclists.

London is suffering from a serious air pollution problem and the announcement comes as the Mayor and local authorities take steps to reduce it.

The team, who will work with London Architects Robin Snell and Partners, Engineer COWI, and Consultants AECOM, was selected following an international design competition.

The first stage of the project will involve finding the ideal location for the bridge, which is set to be one of the first Thames crossings taking into account both the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. 

Speaking about how the bridge will look, lead designer Erik Bystrup said: "Our design concept is based on an elegant bridge that provides simple and uninhibited access for all, with minimal impact on each bank.

"This will be one of the very first shared pedestrian and cycle bridges over the Thames, adding to the rich history of London’s river crossings." 

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "A new bridge linking Nine Elms and Pimlico has been talked about for many years and we only have to look at a map to see why.

"This is the longest stretch of riverbank in central London without a crossing point and as our city’s growth continues we must provide the new transport infrastructure to meet rising demand.  

"The regeneration of Nine Elms will provide £26million in private funding for this scheme and London’s very serious pollution problem demands that we develop clean and sustainable infrastructure wherever its business case is proved. 

"As a city, we have to show that London is open for business and we have to take every opportunity to encourage the shift towards zero-emission forms of transport.

"This bridge delivers on both and would be a stunning new addition to the river."