A Transport for London (TfL) consultation on east London river crossings has identified Gallions Reach and Belvedere as potential sites for a new east London river crossing.
We feel like we've been writing about the lack of river crossings in the east and possible plans forever, and admittedly, TfL's consultation report, published yesterday, is just the latest in a series of tiny steps towards fixing the problem. Launched in July 2014, the consultation covered a replacement for the Woolwich ferry or a new ferry service at Gallions Reach, as well as fixed link crossings. It's the latter two which have come out as the most popular ideas.
The bridge at Gallions Reach would connect Thamesmead with Royal Docks, while the Belvedere site would connect north Bexley with Havering. TfL said that of 7,500 responses received, 90% were in favour of new river crossings in east London. London Mayor Boris Johnson said:
“Delivering new river crossings to the east is going to be vital to the future success and prosperity of the capital. They have the power to unlock areas for development, creating jobs and new homes, better connecting people, businesses and communities and helping manage the impact of population growth. We've built the Emirates Air Line and we're pressing ahead with the Silvertown Tunnel, but we're going to have to do much more if we're to meet the challenges that an ever-growing city presents. We know from this consultation that Londoners are overwhelmingly in support of new crossings and TfL will now be pushing full steam ahead with plans for Gallions Reach and Belvedere."
TfL says new crossings will offer opportunities for public transport as well as roads and is also looking at pedestrian and cycling provision.
Even without a predicted growth in east London's population of around 600,000 over the next 15 years, the need for more crossings in the east has been pressing for some time. Local residents and campaign group No To Silvertown Tunnel say further river crossings will increase the already awful air pollution in the area and cause severe congestion.
TfL will now put further work into developing options for bridges at Gallions Reach and Belvedere and launch a new consultation in autumn this year.