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Keep the bridge swaying!
Millennium Bridge (London)
Member Name: slackjack
Millennium Bridge (London)
Date: 30/06/00, updated on 30/06/00 (51 review reads)
Disadvantages: They closed it!
I was in London a few weeks ago, and was lucky enough to get on the Millennium Bridge in the few days before it closed due to the 'unacceptable' amount the bridge moves when large numbers of people are on it.
We were heading to the new Tate Modern gallery, and although I'm not usually keen on attractions that people queue for great lengths of time for, I'd been impressed by the bridge on the TV and decided to have a look. We got there quite early (around 10:30) and it wasn't too crowded - we only had to queue for about 10 minutes to get on. This was, I think the third day that the bridge had been open, and by this point, security guards were letting people onto the bridge in small groups of about 10 or so at a time as a safety measure to attempt to combat the movement of the bridge.
The bridge itself is beautifully situated. Heading from north London to Tate Modern, we got the tube to St Pauls, walked around the cathedral and toward the bridge. The bridge is very visually impressive and the view across it to Tate Modern very pleasing indeed. We visited on a scorchingly hot day, but as we walked toward the centre of the bridge, a lovely cool breeze blew down the Thames, making it very relaxing on a summer day in the city. From the bridge, you can see down the Thames, St Pauls, Tate Modern and get a nice view of the Globe Theatre. Until we got to the centre of the bridge the infamous movement was not in evidence at all. As we passed the centre point, though a gentle swaying became noticeable. By the three quarter mark, walking on the bridge was reminiscent of being on the deck of a ship on a pretty windy day. Even at the end of the bridge, the swinging was considerable, and was put into context when you could see the hand rail swinging back and forth several inches towards objects firmly attached to dry land.
I loved it. It seems a shame to me that the bridge was closed to stop it swaying - I'm sure this could be marketed as an
attraction. I felt completely safe - after all, most big bridges swing. I've seen the Humber bridge moving a lot more that the Millennium Bridge, and thousands of people are quite happy to drive over that..
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