The Mayor of London has unveiled new plans for river crossings to be built over the next five to ten years, across East and South East London.
Sadiq Khan said he hopes the crossings will improve travel across the capital, as well as supporting new affordable homes and business opportunities in East London.
There are plans for:
- A new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to be accelerated
- The Silvertown Tunnel will get a revamp to make it greener
- A DLR crossing at Gallions Reach to help support the development of around 17,000 new homes across Newnham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Further assessment work for a Barking Riverside-Abbey Wood London Overground crossing
- Further assessment of a North Greenwich-Isle of Dogs ferry.
Sadiq Khan said: "It's no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. But we don't want these to have a damaging impact on our environment and that's why I've reviewed and improved plans for Silvertown Tunnel and why I'm pushing forward with crossings that encourage public transport, walking and cycling."
The aim of the tunnel, which would open in 2023 and be paid for via a user charge, would be to help reduce traffic queues.
Khan has also jazzed up previous plans inherited from former Mayor Boris Johnson including TfL looking into providing a bespoke cycle-bus to carry cyclists and their bikes through the tunnel on a turn-up and go basis. He also stressed a clear commitment within TfL's business plan to support new buses through the tunnel and a bus concession for local residents for a period.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, threw her weight behind the plans. "Having long supported and campaigned for the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf pedestrian and cycle bridge I am delighted that the Mayor is now committed to accelerating this project," she said. "This is London's most needed river crossing."
A procurement process will be held next year and – depending on funding, availability of land and relevant approvals – the Mayor said this new bridge could be open by 2020.