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River crossings in East London

Transport for London (TfL) this week launched a public consultation on detailed proposals for a new tunnel under the Thames at Silvertown. By delivering a new road link beneath the Thames, the Silvertown tunnel would reduce queuing at the existing Blackwall Tunnel and would connect the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks – two of the Mayor’s key Opportunity Areas for thousands of new homes and jobs.

As part of its plans, TfL has developed proposals for a user charge at the Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels.  TfL sees this is as an essential element to manage demand and provide a source of revenue to help pay for construction and operation of the new tunnel at Silvertown. London First recently published some opinion polling on public attitudes towards tolling which found that work needs to be done to engage Londoners on the case for tolling.

The public consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel will run from 15 October until 19 December 2014.  A further consultation is planned for early summer 2015 ahead of the submission of an application for a Development Consent Order by the end of 2015. If approved, construction could start in 2017 and take four years to complete at an estimated cost of around £750m.

In parallel, the Mayor and TfL continue to plan for new road crossings to the east of Silvertown, which were the subject of a recent consultation. Initial findings from that consultation suggest strong public support to develop plans for crossings at both Gallions Reach and Belvedere.  TfL plans to undertake a further detailed consultation on these crossing options before the end of 2015. Subject to securing funding and the necessary approvals, both crossings could be completed and open by 2025.

London First strongly supports new river crossings in east London and will continue to press the Mayor and GLA for greater urgency in getting on with the schemes.

London First members may also be interested in a new report from the Centre for London, supported by London First, on the need for new crossings. This is being launched on 22nd October 17.00-18.30 at Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5DG. Any London First members wishing to attend should contact brell.wilson@centreforlondon.org

Contact: David Leam, dleam@londonfirst.co.uk

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