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Now mayor wants new bridge—after scrapping Thames Gateway

PUBLISHED: 12:54 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

A NEW bridge is being proposed over the Thames at Silvertown—in the wake of the row over the Mayor of London scrapping the controversial Thames Gateway crossing further downstream. The plans emerged during the Mayor’s Question Time at the London Assembly this-morning (Wednesday) when Boris Johnson came under fire for cancelling the crossing at Beckton and the DLR extension to Dagenham

A NEW bridge is being proposed over the Thames at Silvertown—in the wake of the row over the Mayor of London scrapping the controversial Thames Gateway crossing further downstream.

The plans emerged during the Mayor’s Question Time at the London Assembly this-morning (Wednesday) when Boris Johnson came under fire for cancelling the crossing at Beckton and the DLR extension to Dagenham.

“I haven’t cancelled’ these projects,” he insisted. “All I’ve done is stop spending money on deception.

“These projects were simply not going to happen. We need to focus on schemes that are going to happen in the next 10 years.”

He came under attack from Labour’s John Biggs, East London’s assembly member, demanding to know why the Thames Gateway scheme had been withdrawn.

It was not a well-thought out project—and was also deeply unpopular, the Mayor told Biggs.

“We should be going back to look at the possibility of Silvertown and looking at a bridge there instead,” Johnson pointed out.

Green member Darren Johnson unusually congratulated the Tory mayor for cancelling Thames Gateway as “the greenest thing you will ever do,” he told the mayor.

Johnson—pressed further by Biggs on the cancellation—insisted that if the idea of a bridge was to get traffic onto the A2, avoiding the congested Blackwall Tunnel, the Silvertown option was “infinitely better because you don’t have to snaggle your way through south-east London and Bexley.”

He urged London Assembly members to unite and help transfer the Private Funding Initiative from Thames Gateway to the Silvertown option instead.

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