Transport for London have scrapped plans for a Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf  pedestrian and cycle crossing, with estimated costs for the project ballooning to half a billion pounds.

A TfL boss said it had done everything possible to lower costs for the project.

TfL has faced financial difficulties after a cut to its government grant, London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s partial fare freeze, a fall in passenger numbers, and the delay to Crossrail.

It reported a £1bn budget deficit for the last financial year, but this was forecast to be almost halved by April.

Gareth Powell, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We are improving infrastructure across London to help more people walk and cycle and make the city a safer, cleaner place. While a workable bridge scheme was identified, the associated costs were expected to be substantially higher than originally ‎forecast.

“We have done everything possible to explore options for lowering costs to make this project viable and will now focus on an improved fast ferry option, with the valuable work done on the bridge so far enabling its potential development in the longer term.

“We appreciate that this news will be disappointing to many of the people who responded to the consultation, and we remain committed to delivering our wider plans across the area as quickly as possible. These include delivering Cycleway 4, new cycle routes from Rotherhithe to Peckham, and Hackney to the Isle of Dogs, and supporting the expansion of Santander Cycles.”

Southwark London Assembly Member, Florence Eshalomi, said she and local councillors would write to TfL for answers as to why the costs had risen so much.

She said: “This announcement will be hugely disappointing for Southwark residents who have been enthusiastically supportive of TfL’s plans for the crossing.

“With such a major infrastructure project now on hold, which would be vital to boosting our local economy and opening up our city’s transport links to cyclists and pedestrians, I will be writing to TfL, alongside local councillors, to ask for answers on how the projected costs have risen so significantly.

“This a financial decision, so it must also be remembered that TfL have been placed in an incredibly difficult situation with the Government taking the reckless decision to remove £700 million a year on average from their budget. As result, TfL has now become one of the only transport authorities in the world not to receive a Government operational grant for day-to-day running costs,” she said.