It was the name that launched a thousand tweets.

When the Natural Environment Research Council asked the public to help name their new research ship, the strong winner in its online poll was Boaty McBoatface.

The irreverent suggestion beat second place RRS Poppy Mai, for a 16-month-old girl with incurable cancer, amassing nearly four times the number of votes.

Now, in a move with the potential to inspire similar jokers, Richmond Council is asking residents what to call a new footbridge in Mortlake.

But the cabinet member responsible has asked responders to refrain from making the obvious joke.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, cabinet member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality, said: “One of the first things I did when I was elected was meet with local people to discuss proposals for a pedestrian footbridge over the White Hart Lane level crossing.

“It was clear this bridge was a top priority and I am pleased we have been able to deliver this.

“So now, hot on the heels of other major national decisions and referendums, residents are invited to directly impact local democracy and have their say on this important issue!

“Whether an historic reference, a famous resident or just something that makes you smile – although, maybe not Bridgey McBridgeface – let us have your ideas for the latest crossing in the borough.”

The bridge, a £1.2m project, will be built at the White Hart Lane level crossing in Mortlake, and is due to be finished in mid-April.

Names can be suggested by emailing: or tweeting @LBRUT using the hashtag #MortlakeBridge.

The deadline for name suggestions is February 28, and a shortlist will be put to a public vote on Twitter.