Plans for the proposed £750m Silvertown tunnel go out to consultation today, with the full weight of the Mayor of London behind the project.
The road link is seen as essential to development and regeneration plans for both Greenwich and the Royal Docks. The Greenwich Peninsula redevelopment has planning permission for 10,000 new homes. By early 2015 there will already be two million square feet of property under development at Greenwich Peninsula.
The Royal Docks is another of the mayor's key ‘opportunity areas’ for mass development.
TfL planning director Michèle Dix said: “These detailed plans for the Silvertown tunnel are the next step in delivering a series of crossings that will keep London moving. The consultation is an opportunity to find out more about the design of the tunnel, how it will be used and the benefits and impacts of this new crossing.”
The public consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel will run from 15 October until 19 December 2014. A report on the findings of the consultation will be presented to the mayor in spring 2015. Transport for London (TfL) then plans to lodge an application to government for a development consent order in December 2015.
In recognition of its significance for the future development of London, this project has already been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by government. If approved, construction could start in 2017 and take four years to complete at an estimated cost of around £750m.
In parallel with the Silvertown tunnel, TfL is also working up plans for additional river crossings at Gallions Reach and Belvedere in outer east London, open up major sites for development and help to support the delivery of jobs and homes across a wide area. All these crossings, as well as the existing Blackwall tunnels, would be tolled, as is the Dartford crossing further to the east. Though are no such plans to make residents of more affluent west and central London to pay to use their crossings.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The Silvertown Tunnel would provide a vital new link beneath the Thames from two of our city's great opportunity areas for new homes and jobs – Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. It has quite rightly been classified by the government as a project of national significance and today we're a step closer in making our vision a reality. Unless new river crossings are provided, the huge growth potential of east London will not be realised, which is why I have asked TfL to also take forward further work on two new river crossings to the east of the Silvertown tunnel at Gallions Reach and Belvedere. These new crossings will be essential not just for east London, but for the capital as a whole and its continued success as the motor of the UK economy.”