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TfL launches consultation on vital new river crossing

The proposed new Silvertown Tunnel would provide much needed congestion relief at the Blackwall Tunnel, which on an average day experiences two mile tailbacks during peak periods and regularly adds around 25 minutes to journey times. First opened in 1897, it is estimated around one million hours are wasted each year by people queuing to use the Blackwall Tunnel, costing around £10m today in lost time.

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Given the expected rise in population, Silvertown Tunnel is estimated to save £1.3bn over 60 years that would otherwise be lost waiting in traffic, as well as helping make local businesses more productive by improving their access to new markets. The river crossing would also enable Transport for London to transform bus connections between north and south of the river as double decker buses will be able to use the tunnel.

The Silvertown Tunnel is part of TfL’s plan to build and support a series of new crossings that are needed to support the Capital’s rapidly growing population, which is expected to grow from 8.6m now to 10m by 2030. Some 600,000 of these people are expected to live in east London alone which is why TfL is progressing plans for three new road based crossings at Silvertown, Gallions Reach and Belvedere.

TfL proposes to introduce a charge to use the Blackwall and Silvertown Tunnels.  TfL says that the charge is necessary to manage demand and ensure that the local road network can accommodate future traffic levels, reducing the environmental impacts of traffic congestion.  The charge will also pay for the new tunnel to be built.

London First is a longstanding champion of additional river crossings in east London and has welcomed the consultation as an important step forward in getting Silvertown built. The public consultation runs until 29 November 2015 and will form part of TfL’s submission for a Development Consent Order to the Government for permission to start construction. The construction is expected to begin in 2018 with the new tunnel fully operational by 2022/23.

Contact: David Leam, dleam@londonfirst.co.uk

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