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Boris reveals plans for 13 new Thames crossings by 2050

Date: 03 December 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has unveiled plans to build 13 new Thames river crossings by 2050.

The proposals are part of Johnson's vision for the capital in the future, and if approved, will increase the number of bridges and tunnels between Imperial Warf and Dartford by more than a third.

The new crossings - which will cater for both road users and public transport - are detailed in a plan that suggests how cross-river transport links are to grow London.

The report - Connecting the Capital - outlines how the new crossings would support both the capital's growing population and new jobs while easing congestion.

At present, there are just three road crossings in the 14 miles between Tower Bridge and the M25.

"Building a series of new bridges and tunnels across the Thames is essential for the future prosperity of our rapidly-growing city," said Johnson. "By creating more links between the north and south of the river, we won't just improve day-to-day travelling across the capital, we'll unlock areas for development and create thousands of jobs and homes."

The potential river crossings included in 'Connecting the Capital' and their stages of development are:

  • Diamond Jubilee - a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Fulham with Battersea. Planning permission has been granted
  • Crossrail 2 - a new railway line connecting Hertfordshire and Surrey via central London and providing a new cross river link between Victoria and Clapham Junction, which TfL is currently consulting on
  • Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea - a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea to Pimlico - feasibility
  • Garden Bridge - a new pedestrian crossing linking the South Bank to Temple station - planning permission granted
  • Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf - a pedestrian and cycle bridge - feasibility
  • North Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs - a passenger ferry linking North Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs (Blackwall) - conceptual
  • Silvertown tunnel - a twin bore tunnel connecting Silvertown on the north side to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach on the south side - application for powers to construct under preparation
  • Charlton - a potential passenger ferry crossing linking the Royal Docks and Charlton Riverside - conceptual
  • Crossrail - a new rail line linking Woolwich with Custom House and onward to Canary Wharf, central London and Heathrow Airport - under construction
  • Gallions Reach - a multi-modal crossing linking Thamesmead with Beckton along a safeguarded alignment - consultation started today
  • Barking Riverside to Thamesmead - a London Overground tunnel extension from Barking Riverside to Thamesmead - conceptual
  • Belvedere- a multi-modal crossing connecting Belvedere with Rainham - consultation started today
  • Lower Thames Crossing - new road crossing linking Essex and Kent - being progressed by Highways England for the Government

Meanwhile, a consultation has been launched on two of the proposed crossings to improve connections between east and southeast London.

Transport for London is consulting on crossings at Gallions Reach to link Thamesmead and Beckton, and Belvedere, linking Belvedere to Rainham.

Both are planned to include a range of transport options and the consultation is asking for views about potential public transport links.

In addition to Gallions Reach and Belvedere, the mayor and TfL are already progressing a number of new river crossings which include:

  • A public consultation on Silvertown Tunnel has recently concluded. This crossing will seek to address the congestion and reliability issues at the Blackwall Tunnel
  • A direct link between Abbey Wood and Canary Wharf will be provided through Crossrail and is set to open to passengers in 2018
  • The Garden Bridge is progressing which will encourage walking and help relieve central London public transport routes
  • A design team has been appointed to progress a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge linking Battersea with Pimlico
  • Options are being considered for a new pedestrian and cycle crossing linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf that will help accommodate growth in the surrounding area