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Livingstone eyes Dartford Crossing cash

LONDON MAYOR Ken Livingstone said this week he hoped to harness toll revenue from the Dartford Crossing to help pay for a new £385M highways bridge across the Thames between Barking and Thamesmead.

The toll concession for the Dartford Crossing expires in April next year, although the Department for Transport (DfT) has yet to decide how to use this revenue.

Under plans revealed this week, London mayor Ken Livingstone said that funding for the Thames Gateway Bridge will rely on a mixture of private finance, and contributions from local developers.

These include developer Canary Wharf whose huge estate is close to the northern end of the planned bridge. Meridian, which took over the Dome earlier this year, is also expected to contribute (NCE 6 June. ) A DfT spokesman said, 'There has been no transport case made by Transport for London for this scheme and no decision has yet been made even as to which area this money will be directed to.'

With three lanes in each direction, including two bus lanes, the new bridge aims to carry up to 24,000 bus passengers a day.

The link will consist almost entirely of local traffic and play a major part in the Thames Gateway regeneration.

A design competition is expected to start in early 2003.

By the end of next year detailed design, economic studies and environmental impact assessments will be completed.

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