Mayor Supports More River Crossings

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has committed to building more Thames River Crossings in a press release on the 4th October. These are to be “greener” and more “public transport focussed” he says.

It includes plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf but the Silvertown Tunnel to relieve congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel will go ahead and a bus shuttle service for cyclists will be included in that.

He is also proposing to take forward an extension of the Docklands Light Railway from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead but there is no mention of a ferry or bridge for vehicles at that location as previously discussed. He has asked TfL to look at a new ferry between Canary Wharf and North Greenwich but there is also no mention of a replacement for the Woolwich Ferry where the ferries in use are nearing the end of their useful lives.

The new Silvertown Tunnel and the existing Blackwall Tunnel would be charged to pay for the construction of the former. Suggested figure is £2.50 per trip and there is a public inquiry being undertaken into the proposals of course.

Comment: This looks like a typical political compromise where Mr Khan is promoting his green credentials while at least pushing ahead with the urgently required new Silvertown Tunnel. But he has ducked some of the issues about the need for other crossings or a long term road structure plan. As Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell has said, the measures appear to be “tokenistic”, i.e. it’s a political fudge to try and please eveyone.

Roger Lawson

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