London mayor gives green light to $1.3bn Silvertown tunnel

Inhabitants of east London, who are familiar with the widespread gridlock that occurs when the Blackwall Tunnel – the area’s only modern river crossing for cars – is closed will be pleased to hear that a second four-lane crossing is to be built next to it in Silvertown.

Green groups, and those who voted for Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, on the understanding that he was opposed to the scheme, were less pleased.

Khan announced this week that the £1bn ($1.3bn) tunnel would go ahead, and would have a "greener focus" than originally planned.

He said: "It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. With new homes and economic growth across East London, it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links that allow Londoners to cross the river quickly and more easily. 

"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 No to Silvertown campaign argue that it will put more cars on the roads of south-east London, thereby increasing congestion and pollution rather than diminishing it.

Transport for London was given planning permission for the scheme on 31 May 2016, and there will be a six-month long public examination of it beginning in the autumn.

The mayor also announced a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, and a Docklands Light Railway crossing at Gallions Reach.

In addition, he said a ferry between Canary Wharf and North Greenwich and a river crossing from Barking Riverside were under consideration.

The new crossings are planned to be completed in the next five to 10 years.

Images via Transport for London

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  1. How will it be funded?
    Will it be tolled?
    How many river crossings are there in London?
    How many are tolled?

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