Boris Johnson announces Thames road tunnel linking Greenwich to Royal Docks

A major new road tunnel connecting the Greenwich Peninsula to Silvertown in Newham will be completed within a decade, Boris Johnson announced.

It is part of a package of new river crossings for the east of the capital, to ease chronic congestion and support growth in what the Greater London Authority describes as an “important and developing part of London”.

Announcing the plans last week, Mr Johnson argued that for London to remain a leading world city major investment in transport must press ahead.

He said: “We are in the right time zone, speak the right language and have the young, skilled population to continue to attract investment from the world’s greatest businesses. This is not a time for London to falter, it is a time for London to flourish.”

It is expected that every hour around 2,400 vehicles will be able to travel through the new tunnel in each direction.

Transport for London will begin consulting on the works next month.

But John Biggs, Labour London Assembly member for the City and East area, said the project should have started four years ago.

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He added: “One of Boris Johnson’s first moves when he came to power was to scrap plans for a new bridge in east London and throw away its funding to the tune of hundreds of millions. If he hadn’t been so short sighted back in 2008 we could have been opening a river crossing now.”

Building just one crossing very close to the existing Blackwall tunnel could also increase congestion in the area, he warned.

The proposed underground crossing will join a series of other transport plans for pedestrians and cyclists in east London.

A cable car from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks is currently under construction and a new ferry running is being proposed between Beckton and Thamesmead.