The London Mayor has publicly promised that a new tunnel under the River Thames to the east of the capital will be in operation within the next ten years.
For decades, heavily congested traffic through the Rotherhithe and Blackwell tunnels, via the Woolwich ferry, has made journeys from north to south in East London a misery.
The proposed new tunnel, which will run between the Greenwich peninsula and Silvertown in the Royal Docks, will relieve the traffic in the existing Blackwell and Rotherhithe tunnels, as it will have the capacity to facilitate 2,400 vehicles every hour, in both directions.
Boris Johnson also spoke of a new ferry crossing being planned for the capital, which will link Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach, creating yet another transport link in east London. The new ferry crossing will be open by 2017, and the two new river crossings in London form part of the package of transport investment intended to support growth in London.
Speaking about his vision for London to government leaders recently, the London Mayor said:
“When I look at London, I see a city of incredible potential and tonight I will make the case for a huge new phase of investment in the capital, including a new major river crossing east of Tower Bridge. We are in the right time zone, speak the right language and have the young, skilled population to continue to attract investment from the world’s greatest businesses. This is not a time for London to falter it is a time for London to flourish.”
Although the Mayor’s announcement of a major new transport network in east London was not met without opposition and criticism. At the forefront of the disproval of the two new river crossings is that they would increase the problem of air pollution in the capital. Darren Johnson, a member of the Green Party London Assembly, is among those opposing the new river crossings in London, stating:
“The London Mayor can’t claim that air pollution or climate change is a priority whilst proposing to build a traffic-generating road like this Silvertown Tunnel. This tunnel is a straightforward attempt to double capacity around the Blackwell Tunnel and will generate extra traffic all over east London.”