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New Thames crossing in pipeline for east London

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A new bridge or road tunnel crossing the River Thames in east London is back on the cards, following a public consultation by Transport for London (TfL)

According to TfL, more than 90 per cent of the 10,000 respondents favoured a greater number of river crossings in east and south east London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson originally backed a new vehicle ferry service at Gallions Reach, linking Greenwich and Newham, after scrapping the £500 million Thames Gateway Bridge in 2008. Had it gone ahead, the Ken Livingstone-backed bridge, would have opened this year.

However, the consultation may force Johnson into an embarrassing U-turn, as it showed that 71 per cent of respondents supported a fixed link at Gallions Reach, while only 51 per cent supported a new ferry service, which would replace the current service at Woolwich.

The alternative proposal of a new road tunnel between Silvertown and the Greenwich Peninsula was supported by 76 per cent of respondents. The projected tunnel crossing would relieve pressure on the Blackwall Tunnel and would be designed to carry all sizes of vehicles, including buses.

TfL is now considering the costs and impact of the proposals.

Michele Dix, managing director of planning at TfL, said: ‘With London’s population potentially reaching 10 million by 2031, we recognise the importance that will be placed on transporting goods and services throughout east and south east London.’

She added: ‘The proposed additional road infrastructure is vital. Apart from the opening of the QEII Bridge at Dartford there has been no increase in the capacity of the highway network across the river in east London for nearly 50 years. We will review the river crossings consultation report findings to decide what the next steps will be. There will be further more detailed consultations if any of the proposals are taken forward.’

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