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Mayoral boost for new east London river crossings

The Mayor of London has set out a package of new river crossings that he would like to see built over the next 5-10 years to improve transport links in east London (the Mayor’s press notice can be found here).

The package includes:

  • Mayoral support for the Silvertown Tunnel, conditional on measures to make it greener and more public transport-focused
  • Plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe & Canary Wharf to be accelerated
  • TfL to take forward detailed work on a DLR crossing at Gallions Reach, helping support the development of around 17,000 new homes across Newham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich
  • Further assessment work for a Barking Riverside-Abbey Wood London Overground crossing
  • Further assessment of a North Greenwich-Isle of Dogs ferry, supporting new development on the Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs

Responding to the announcement, David Leam, Infrastructure Director at London First, said: “Better river crossings will help unlock the economic potential of east and south east London and connect thousands of new homes in Newham, Barking, Greenwich and elsewhere. We’re delighted the Mayor has sped up these plans, aiming to deliver new ways of getting across the river within the next five to ten years.”

We received coverage in the Guardian, Architects Journal and other trade websites.

Map of where the proposed crossings would be


London First has welcomed the announcement as giving fresh leadership and momentum to the need for additional crossings to the east.

We are delighted to see Mayoral support for the Silvertown tunnel, which goes to public examination next week (we will be giving evidence in favour). As a condition of his support the Mayor has placed a strong emphasis on bus access and air quality.

We are also very pleased by the fresh emphasis on additional public transport crossings, notably a DLR extension to Thamesmead and a possible London Overground extension to Abbey Wood. Crossings of this sort would make a major contribution to supporting additional housing in the east. TfL is hoping to source “the majority” of funding for these crossings through developer contributions and CIL. This will inevitably be a challenge, but London has demonstrated funding creativity elsewhere and we will now be putting on our thinking caps to help find possible solutions.

It is encouraging to see planning accelerated for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf which could enhance connectivity in this area. In committing to further detailed work, the Mayor is clearly keen to avoid some of the pitfalls that have dogged the garden bridge process.

Finally, in addition to the above, we also remain keen to develop long-standing plans for road crossings at Gallions Reach and Belvedere. While not mentioned explicitly today, TfL assure us that these proposals will be re-examined as part of the new Mayor’s Transport Strategy next year – which we will be feeding in to.

London First will be undertaking further work on east London river crossings over the coming year. If you would like to know more please contact David Leam,

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