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East London badly needs Thames road crossing—why wait?

PUBLISHED: 23:42 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, EAST London desperately needs at least one, probably two, new road crossings over the Thames.

West London has dozens of bridges, but it has taken Boris Johnson over a year to accept that East London’s need

Dear Ed,

EAST London desperately needs at least one, probably two, new road crossings over the Thames.

West London has dozens of bridges, but it has taken Boris Johnson over a year to accept that East London's need.

One of his first acts as London Mayor was to scrap plans for the Thames Gateway Bridge at Beckton. A year on, he has been forced to accept what we knew all along. Only now, any bridge is going to be years away.

The lack of Thames road crossings east of the City is a barrier to growth and a better life. Employers are put off investing here and unemployed workers have limited options due to jobs on 'the wrong side of the river.'

We have built rail crossings, but these are bursting at the seams.

As the Blackwall is the only real serious road crossing, my East London constituents near the tunnel face foul air pollution and gridlock at busy times seven days a week.

Politically, I am not one of the Mayor's greatest allies. But there are issues here where I am happy to work with him, like the 2012 Olympics, Crossrail and promoting London.

But on this one issue of a Thames crossing, he deserves the universal condemnation of East London.

Why should we continue to wait another decade for something like a decent transport system that the well heeled West London takes for granted? It is a form of political 'victimisation'!

Now that the Mayor has finally accepted the need for a road crossing, we must make sure he acts and for once makes East London a priority.

John Biggs (Lab)

City & East London member

London Assembly

City Hall

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