Proposals for the Silvertown Tunnel – a new river crossing for east London that would link the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks – have gone on display.
According to Transport for London (TfL), Silvertown Tunnel would provide much needed relief of congestion 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.
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 crossing would also create hundreds of construction jobs through to its opening in 2022/23.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Delivering a host of new river crossings to the east is essential for the future success and prosperity of a growing capital city like ours. They have the power to unlock areas for development, creating jobs and new homes, as well as helping to better connect people, businesses and communities. The Silvertown Tunnel is a hugely important piece of new infrastructure that would provide a new link beneath the Thames from two of our city’s great opportunity areas for new homes and jobs – Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks?.”
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. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 with the new tunnel fully operational by 2022/23.