The Department for Transport (DfT) has given consent for Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the Silvertown Tunnel, a new twin-bore road tunnel under the Thames in east London.
TfL says the tunnel, which is set to open in 2023, will help ease the current serious congestion at Blackwall Tunnel and improve 'the reliability and resilience' of the road network in east London.
Up to 37 buses (all of which will be hybrid, electric or Euro VI) an hour are expected to use the tunnel. Further pedestrian and cycling improvements will also be made on both sides of the river.
Work will be carried out on the areas surrounding the entrances to the tunnel to improve conditions for local residents and create new walking and cycling routes around Royal Victoria and the Greenwich Peninsula.
While consent was confirmed yesterday (May 10) by the Secretary of State, a number of conditions were included. TfL is now working with local boroughs, landowners, stakeholders and other affected parties to understand the implications of these conditions.
The new Silvertown Tunnel will be privately financed through a Design, Build, Finance and Maintain contract, with the successful delivery partner receiving payments from TfL once the tunnel is open and available for use.
These will be made in part via a user charge on both the new tunnel and the existing Blackwall Tunnel,
The exact charge levels for various types of vehicles using the tunnel will be decided closer to the opening date.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that the green light has been given to progress with the Silvertown Tunnel. New river crossings are vital for the future prosperity of east London, and the scheme will have a substantial impact unlocking new jobs and economic growth, while easing congestion and poor air quality in the area.
“Since I became Mayor I’ve been determined to ensure the Silvertown Tunnel doesn’t have a detrimental impact on our environment. That’s why the new plans have such a focus on cleaner transport, with only buses with the highest emission standard using the tunnel, and substantial investment in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.”
The delivery of the Silvertown Tunnel was included in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and forms part of the Mayor’s wider plans for sustainable river crossings across the Thames. These include a new walking and cycling crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf as well as looking at the feasibility for a new DLR crossing between Gallions Reach and Thamesmead, along with options for further sustainable crossings in west London.