Significant upgrades to London’s underground are underway, although there is not yet a funded and committed programme to finish modernising its Tube lines. London First will keep pushing for this.
We also need to focus on extending the Tube where a compelling business case exists. The Bakerloo Line Extension has the potential to regenerate a corridor of inner London and provide up to 25,000 new homes.
There are just three road crossings of the Thames east of Tower Bridge, yet there are 16 crossings an equivalent distance west. As much of London’s future economic and housing growth is planned for the east, this lack of cross-river connections could be a worrying inhibitor.
…a new tunnel at Silvertown
This much-needed road crossing will relieve the endemic congestion of the Blackwall Tunnel. A WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff survey of businesses in east London found three quarters of all companies said daily congestion at Blackwall is hurting their business a third have missed time-critical deliveries to their clients, while four out of ten are often late for appointments.
The Silvertown Tunnel is also essential to support additional housing and population growth in east London. The three Silvertown Tunnel host boroughs plus the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham are expected to accommodate 23 per cent of London’s population growth between now and 2030. By improving connections north and south of the river the Silvertown Tunnel would enhance the links between new and existing homes and potential jobs.
We have formally supported the planning application, and if granted then completion should be in 2022 or 2023.
…a new Lower Thames Crossing
This will reduce congestion on the existing Dartford Crossing. The Department for Transport recently undertook a further consultation on this crossing, which has been under consideration since 2009. A statutory consultation is expected in 2018 ahead of planning application submission in 2019. The crossing would then be able to open by 2027.
The scheme is a strategic need for London, the wider South East and the national economies with the Dartford Crossing regularly becoming heavily congested.
We support the principle of user charging to manage demand and/or to pay for new infrastructure. We therefore support TfL’s proposal to apply a user charge to both the existing Blackwall Tunnel and new Silvertown Tunnel to reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability, and to fund the new scheme.