Two representatives of TfL met with us for informal discussions about the proposals to double the capacity of the river tunnel crossings from the Peninsula. TfL updated us, especially about the results of their most recent consultation, and discussions followed. Further discussions are planned; we hope to hold an open public meeting with TfL in May.
78% of Greenwich respondents were in favour of a Silvertown Tunnel, but...
58% were against tolls or user charging
TfL favour expanded bus links across the river especially from points south, in addition to the 108, and are not keen on expanding rail links
Tolls need to be steep and extensive enough to deter some of the expected huge demand; design of the charging structure has only just begun
An extra bore for pedestrians and cyclists has been ruled out
Much more redesign work on road junctions to accommodate extra traffic is needed, especially since the tunnels are designed for high-sided 44 tonne trucks.
Outside East Greenwich we were assured that the Woolwich Ferry should remain open until at least 2024, and will be refurbished. Downstream river crossings at both Gallions Reach and Belvedere are still planned. Most of the impact assessment work still needs to be done and the results published.
TfL’s Next Steps
The schedule should begin this summer with the Statutory Consultation following all necessary assessment work. An application (a Development Consent Order) should be submitted before 2016 but may slip. Extensive hearings will be followed by a decision in 2017 (by the Secretary of State). After award of contracts in 2018 expected completion should be in 2021/22.