Have Your Say On Plans For The Silvertown Tunnel

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 30 months ago
Have Your Say On Plans For The Silvertown Tunnel
Photo by Ian Jenkins from the Londonist Flickr pool

Transport for London today opened a new consultation on plans to build a new road tunnel under the Thames, at the other side of the Greenwich peninsula to the Blackwall Tunnel. (Ironically, it's almost the same route as the cable car.)

The location isn't an accident: the proposed tunnel between Silvertown and the peninsula is partly aimed at easing congestion at Blackwall, notorious for its jams. This would mean both tunnels having their southern ends in Greenwich. TfL believes charging to use both the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels would discourage an increase in traffic — something needs to be done, definitely, since TfL's modelling predicts that without a charge more vehicles would end up using both of them than currently use Blackwall. Which would defeat the whole object.

However, campaigners believe there will be more congestion anyway, charge or no charge, because of the 'induced traffic' effect. They're also extremely concerned about the effects on local air quality and economy. No To Silvertown Tunnel chair Nikki Coates said:

We know all too well how difficult it is to cross the river. But building a new road will only make the situation worse. It’ll concentrate even more traffic and pollution around Canary Wharf and the Blackwall approaches — particularly in the evening — and generate extra jams elsewhere as other drivers avoid tolls by switching to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Green mayoral candidate Sian Berry is also against the tunnel, saying there are other options.

Building new roads and creating more traffic is the last thing London needs. If elected I’ll cancel these plans and invest in ways of getting more people across the river, on foot and bikes and public transport. We have seen all too clearly the failure of manufacturers to clean up vehicles and cut the pollution we are forced to breathe every day. I would put a stop to this huge mistake and provide the kind of transport people really want in south and east London.

We all agree that east London needs more river crossings, but are road tunnels and bridges the way forward? Or should we be investing in more public transport, and pedestrian and cycle bridges, to 'evaporate' existing traffic?

Last Updated 05 October 2015

Beth Williams

Scrap the Garden Bridge trophy project and use the £60 million saved to immediately build a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists in East London.

Greg Tingey

Agree re. scrapping the moronic "garden bridge"
However, once you are as far down-river as Blackwall, a "cycling" bridge is a waste of time & money - think high winds & rain ...
What we really need are TWO railway crossings.
One: extending the about-to-be-built Barking Riverside extension to go through Thamesmead & join up with other lines ...
Two: A freight-&-passenger bypass just to the E of Tilbury, extending from CR1 in the S, linking with the N Kent line, then the exit from Thamesport & joining the ex-GER line to Norwich, somewhere before Colchester ....
( Thus removing large amounts of rail freight from London .... )

John Penny

More railways and less roads. Roads DO NOT improve anything in or around London. Recall the time the M25 was going to 'cure all ills'? Well I do - what a lie that was!!!


"We have seen all too clearly the failure of manufacturers to clean up vehicles..."

Everyone honk the PR bandwagon klaxon. HONK HONK!

Woolwich Resident

A new crossing is LONG overdue, you only have to see the queues for Woolwich Ferry anytime of the day & any day of the week to realize that we need another crossing at the east end of London, this isn't for leisure but in the name of productivity!