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Consultation opens on new London river crossings

3 Dec 15 The number of tunnels and bridges crossing the river Thames in the capital could be increased by as much as a third under plans set out in a Transport for London report.

The report, Connecting the Capital, looks at crossings that are either proposed or under construction between Fulham to the west and Dartford to the east.

These 11 crossings include road, rail and pedestrian links to help London cope with continuing population growth from 8.6 million now to a projected 10 million by 2030. A couple of new ferry crossings are also proposed for Charlton and North Greenwich.

Subject to funding, the new crossings will be progressed across London to be delivered between now and 2050. The majority will be in east London, where population growth will be highest.

A consultation has been launched on two of the proposed crossings to improve connections between east and southeast London. Transport for London (TfL) is consulting on crossings at Gallions Reach to link Thamesmead and Beckton, and Belvedere, linking Belvedere to Rainham. They are planned to include a range of transport options and the consultation is asking for views about potential public transport links. [See below.]

It has not yet been decided whether the crossings should be bridges or tunnels but both will carry tolls to pay for them. Subject to funding, both crossings at Belvedere and Gallions Reach could be open by 2025.

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The potential river crossings included in Connecting the Capital and their stages of development are:

  1.     Diamond Jubilee – a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Fulham with Battersea – planning permission has been granted

  2.     Crossrail 2 – a new railway line connecting Hertfordshire and Surrey via central London and providing a new cross river link between Victoria and Clapham Junction, which TfL is currently consulting on

  3.     Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea – a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea to Pimlico – feasibility

  4.     Garden Bridge – a new pedestrian crossing linking the South Bank to Temple station – planning permission granted

  5.     Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf – a pedestrian and cycle bridge – feasibility

  6.     Silvertown tunnel – a twin bore tunnel connecting Silvertown on the north side to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach on the south side – application for powers to construct under preparation

  7.     Crossrail – a new rail line linking Woolwich with Custom House and onward to Canary Wharf, central London and Heathrow Airport – under construction

  8.     Gallions Reach – a multi-modal crossing linking Thamesmead with Beckton along a safeguarded alignment – consultation now started

  9.     Barking Riverside to Thamesmead – a London Overground tunnel extension from Barking Riverside to Thamesmead – conceptual

  10.     Belvedere – a multi-modal crossing connecting Belvedere with Rainham – consultation now started

  11.     Lower Thames Crossing – new road crossing linking Essex and Kent – being progressed by Highways England

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Building a series of new bridges and tunnels across the Thames is essential for the future prosperity of our rapidly-growing city. By creating more links between the north and south of the river, we won't just improve day-to-day travelling across the capital, we'll unlock areas for development and create thousands of jobs and homes. From Fulham in the west to Dartford in the east, this is a vital package of crossings that will drive economic growth and get more people walking, cycling and on to public transport.”

TfL planning director Richard de Cani said: “With the capital's population rising rapidly and more much-needed housing being built, crossing the river will become ever more important. New cross-river connections can unlock opportunities for local people and help transform an area, supporting regeneration and development. We must progress plans for this package of crossings if we are to support London's growth and galvanise the economic potential it presents.”

Connecting the Capital is available to download at  www.tfl.gov.uk/new-river-crossings

The consultation on the Gallions Reach and Belvedere crossings runs until 12th February 2016. To take part visit www.tfl.gov.uk/east-london-crossings.

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