The proposed Thames Gateway bridge, which would link Greenwich and Newham, has been sent for a second Public Inquiry, much to the annoyance of the Mayor Ken Livingstone.
The bridge over the Thames, linking the A13/A406 in Beckton to the A2016 Eastern Way, would be part of a wider regeneration East of London and in East London.'The Secretary of State considers that she is not yet in a position to determine the application. She considers that it is necessary to reopen the inquiry in order to ensure the full and proper consideration of the submissions put forward after the close of the Inquiry, and other information she considers is necessary in order to determine the proposal,' reads the release from the DCLG.An angry Ken Livingstone said, 'Any delay to the Thames Gateway Bridge is a blow to east London and south east London in particular.'South east London is one of the deprived parts of the capital, which has been losing jobs while the area north of the river has been gaining them strongly - a development that will be boosted further by the 2012 Olympic Games. 'The re-opening of the public inquiry will delay bringing the benefits of the Thames Gateway Bridge to an area that sorely needs them.'This new crossing is, in addition, crucial to supporting plans for an extra 160,000 houses in the Thames Gateway region and up to 42,000 additional jobs in the area as whole,' he said.The Mayor pledged to do, 'everything possible to minimize the delay at the re-opened enquiry.'Environmental concerns were key to the DCLG re-opening the inquiry. London First Chief Executive Baroness Jo Valentine said, 'The planning inspector seems to have put dubious (in our view, plainly wrong) environmental concerns ahead of jobs and quality of life for many thousands of people in South East London.'We are only partially consoled that the Government seems doubtful about the decision too, and is ready to reopen the inquiry. We will redouble our efforts to demonstrate the economic and social benefits of the bridge, in particular the boost to environmentally-friendly public transport from the dedicated bus lanes,' she said.