Transport for London (TfL) has launched the second phase of a public consultation on a proposed package of new river crossings between east and south east London.
Following an initial consultation in February this year, TfL has further developed the proposals for new vehicle river crossings, with options including a new road tunnel at Silvertown and a vehicle ferry at Gallions Reach.
TfL received nearly 4,000 responses to the initial consultation, and more than 90% of those who responded agreed there is a need for more river crossings in east and south east London.
TfL has used the responses from the last consultation to develop the proposals further and is now encouraging the public and stakeholders to provide further comments on these proposals and any other alternatives they may wish to comment on. The new consultation will look in particular at the locations of the river crossing in much more detail with the aim of creating more direct routes with less congestion surrounding the entries and exits. It will also look at a range of funding options for the river crossings, including Community Infrastructure Levy, and the possibility and benefits of tolling.
The proposed new road tunnel would run underneath the River Thames connecting the Royal Docks with the Greenwich Peninsula. It would relieve pressure on the existing Blackwall Tunnel and would provide an alternate route across the river. The Silvertown Tunnel would be designed to carry all sizes of vehicles, including buses.
Government designated the Silvertown Tunnel a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ in June. This decision, following an application by mayor Boris Johnson, means that the overall timescale required to secure all necessary approvals could be reduced considerably enabling TfL to conduct a more structured and simpler planning process.
Subject to planning permission, funding and other consents being granted, the earliest opening date for the proposed river crossings are 2017 for the Gallions Reach Ferry and 2021 for the Silvertown Tunnel.