Mayor wants Greenwich to Silvertown tunnel within ten years

January 13, 2012 by  

MAYOR of London, Boris Johnson, has announced that he would like a new tunnel built under the Thames within the next decade.

He used a speech to London government leaders on Thursday night to confirm his support for the "Silvertown link" and said he would like to see it built within ten years.

The tunnel from Greenwich Peninsula across to the Royal Docks would have a capacity of up to 2,400 vehicles per hour in each direction. Transport for London will begin consultations on the scheme as early as next month.

The mayor also confirmed his support for a new ferry service between Beckton and Gallions Reach and said he'd like to see it delivered by 2017.

The crossing at Silvertown and the Gallion's Reach ferry both featured in a TFL document published in 2009 that put forward plans for future river crossings.

The Mayor of London said: “When I look at London I see a city of incredible potential and tonight I will make the case for a huge new phase of investment in the capital, including a major new river crossing east of Tower Bridge.

"We are in the right time zone, speak the right language and have the young, skilled population to continue to attract investment from the world’s greatest businesses. This is not a time for London to falter it is a time for London to flourish.”

Shortly after coming to office, Johnson scrapped plans for the Thames Gateway Bridge.

Nick Raynsford: Plans are "Too little, too late"

Greenwich and Woolwich MP, Nick Raynsford, says the Silvertown link is "very welcome" but has attacked the mayor's "deathbed repentance" on river crossings. He commented:

“Just months before an election, Boris Johnson has effectively admitted the catastrophic error he made in 2008 by cancelling the Thames Gateway Bridge Scheme. His deathbed repentance on the need for new river crossings is too little and too late.

“While the Silvertown link is very welcome and will help to relieve the acute congestion which frequently affects the Blackwall Tunnel, the Mayor’s proposals for a ferry at Gallions Reach is an unsatisfactory alternative for the Thames Gateway Bridge.

"It also poses serious questions about the future of the existing Woolwich Ferry. Will this continue as a free service, or will it be subject to tolls or possible closure under the Mayor’s proposals?"

"More traffic and more pollution"

Environmentalists have hit out at the plans to build a new road crossing. Friends of the Earth’s London Campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“A new road tunnel and car ferry will bring misery to Londoners by creating more noise, more traffic and more pollution.

“If Boris Johnson wants to keep his pledge to make London the world’s greenest capital his transport policy needs to go in a different direction.”

See also: 853: Boris sacrifices Greenwich to win votes in Bexley


5 Responses to “Mayor wants Greenwich to Silvertown tunnel within ten years”

  1. Mayor Boris confirms New Thames Crossing within 10 years « Greenwich Rising on January 13th, 2012 7:21 pm

    […] london […]

  2. Will on January 16th, 2012 2:58 pm

    Finally somebody is doing something about Blackwall Tunnel, but the goal should be to complete this in a couple of years, not in a decade.

    I think Boris is right to prioritise Blackwall. The focus of DfT, TFL, councils and politicians should be firmly on this initiative rather than on trivial projects like the cable car, “safety improvements” in the tunnel or the DLR.

    If Mrs Bates or other observers from the Friends of the Earth were to visit Greenwich during the rush hour and they would quickly notice that there is an environmental rationale for building a new crossing in Blackwall. If Greenwich is too far for them to visit, they may want to refer to statistics on childhood asthma and other respiratory problems in this part of Greenwich.

    Darren Reply:

    Sadly as the referred article covers this is not going to deal with the Blackwall Problem.

    Traffic will still be running into and through the borough on the same road, still queing in the same places. The bottleneck at Kidbrooke is likely to worsten and if traffic is freeflowing after it then that will just encourage traffic from Kent to use the side streets to avoid it thus bringing yet more polution to the Borough and causing more respiratory problems for those living there.

    The solution is the Thamesmead crossing but Boris is not going to win votes in Greenwich and won’t want to lose them in Bexley. This is purely politics and will not address the problem.


    Will Reply:

    You are right about the tunnel alone not being a sufficient solution. Other traffic planning blunders along and around the A2 need to be fixed for this to work, eg. the Kidbrook interchange you mentioned, average speed measurement between Bexley and the Tunnel, allowing right hand turns in the westbound exit from A2 at Falconwood etc. But all of this is very simple compared to the new tunnel and should for part of any half decent imlpementation plan.

  3. TFL launches river crossing consultation | on February 8th, 2012 2:00 pm

    […] Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said last month that he would like to see the new Silvertown crossing built within ten […]