VIDEO: Councils claim new river crossings would benefit community

17:32 04 January 2013

Cllrs Denise Hyland and Conor McAuley at the launch of the joint campaign

Cllrs Denise Hyland and Conor McAuley at the launch of the joint campaign

Archant

Opponents of proposed new River Thames crossings that would link east and south east London have been urged “to grow up a bit”.

Anti-crossing protesters interrupted the campaign launchAnti-crossing protesters interrupted the campaign launch

Transport for London is currently consulting on proposals to build a new road tunnel connecting Silvertown to the Greenwich Peninsula by 2021 and a new vehicle ferry linking Gallions Reach at Beckton to Thamesmead by 2017.

It says the plans will ease congestion on the approaches to the Blackwall Tunnel north and south of the river.

Campaigners have been vocal in their opposition on the basis that it will increase the number of motorists in the east of London and subsequently damage air quality. Newham and Greenwich Councils launched a joint campaign in favour of the proposals close to the Woolwich Ferry today. The event was also attended by protesters who unfurled a banner in opposition to the scheme.

Newham's executive member for regeneration and strategic planning, Cllr Conor McAuley, said new crossings were crucial for the development of east London.

"West of Tower Bridge there are 17 fixed crossings," he said. "East of Tower Bridge there are only two, a new crossing here would do much to bridge community and help economic activity grow in this part of town.

"I understand some people are just ideologically opposed to all new roads, they need to grow up a bit.

"It's important that East London gets to grow."

The authorities claim a bridge at Gallions Reach would improve access to more than 40 sites either side of the Thames, creating around 20,000 jobs.

Cllr Denise Hyland, Greenwich's cabinet member for regeneration and strategic planning, said she believed the majority of her borough's residents backed the tunnels.

She said: "It's very important that there are increased crossings on the river here.

"For too long, we have been starved of investment and decent transport links and this is actually our chance to put that right and get greater convergence with west London."

However, an online petition has been set up against the road tunnel on the basis any development will increase traffic on the A2 at Kidbrooke and Eltham. It has so far gathered more than 150 pledges of support.

Friends of the Earth's London campaigner Jenny Bates said the reasons behind the proposals were flawed.

She said: "New Thames road crossings would just add to traffic, congestion and exacerbate air pollution which is already a health hazard.

"The priority should be to make our streets safer to walk and cycle and provide better public transport - which would help free up space on existing river crossings.

"A year-long public inquiry into the Thames Gateway road bridge at Gallions Reach found the extra traffic would be likely to increase congestion and that Transport for London's regeneration claims did not stand up."

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Alan Cartwright

The teenager stabbed to death while riding his bike in Islington last night has been named as 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death on Caledonian Road Pic: Google

Teen managed to carry on riding before collapsing - murder investigation launched

Friday, February 27, 2015
CCTV footage shows when the driver loses control of the black Honda car in Hampton Road

This jaw-dropping footage shows the moment a speeding driver smashes his Honda into five parked cars in a quiet residential street before fleeing.

Friday, February 27, 2015
A teenager was stabbed near the Emirates minutes before Arsenal's Champions League game

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Friday, February 27, 2015
The job spec says the succesful applicant will have to 'remain calm under pressure' (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.)

Looking for a new job? Like driving, fan of the Royal Family? Then the perfect role for you might have just come up as the Queen is looking for a new chauffeur.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Russell Tovey has admitted he didn’t realise he was being offered the lead in Banished at first.

Read more

The Sherlock actress says she won’t hear a word said against her famous co-stars.

Read more

The actress is excited that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are making another Bourne movie, and hopes to get in on the act.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.

Quirky London