FTA says Silvertown Tunnel commitment is excellent news for east London

Tuesday 04 October 2016

The announcement today of the go-ahead for the Silvertown Tunnel has been described as excellent news for east London by the Freight Transport Association.

FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy, Christopher Snelling, commented: “London’s biggest growth is going to come in the east, and the shortage of road crossings beyond Tower Bridge is already holding back the economy in that part of the city. The congestion we currently have at crossings like Blackwall causes massive unnecessary local pollution and disruption for residents – we would all be better off with smoother flowing traffic.

This new crossing will not be enough to solve everything, but it will be a big step forward. It will help the local economy and communities as it will support the logistics industry as it tries to provide the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of goods that London needs every day to keep functioning.”

Christopher Snelling continued: “We still want to see more detail on the charging regime. It is crucial for the best use of the crossing that we do not discriminate against essential users like freight – as well as buses, coaches, disabled drivers and tradespeople. Charges should not be set in favour of car users who have other options as to how to get about. Freight traffic won’t increase with more crossings as car traffic might, as the quantity of freight needing to be moved will not change.”

The Silvertown Tunnel will link the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks.

Notes for editors

At present the alternative crossing in the area is the Blackwall Tunnel, which has a 4.0 metre (13.1ft) height limit restricting access for taller lorries, forcing them to take lengthy detours out to the M25 in order to cross the Thames, adding to journey and delivery times. Drivers approaching the tunnel currently face on average a two-mile tailback during peak periods – wasting an estimated one million hours each year by people queuing to use it and costing millions of pounds in lost time.

The Silvertown Tunnel is part of Transport for London’s plans for a series of new river crossings that are needed to support the capital’s rapidly growing population, which is expected to increase from 8.6 million now to 10 million by 2030.
FTA Press Office
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