£1bn Silvertown tunnel will slash Blackwall traffic and air pollution, say transport chiefs
The new Silvertown tunnel under the Thames will “effectively” eliminate congestion and slash air pollution around London’s worst road bottleneck, transport chiefs said today.
TfL today nominated the RiverLinx consortium to design, build and maintain the £1 billion twin-bore crossing between the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks, with work starting this year. It is set to open in 2025.
It will be the first permanent road crossing east of Tower Bridge since the QE2 Bridge at Dartford opened in 1991. A TfL spokesman said it would end the misery of the near-constant traffic standstill at the northern and southern approaches to the Blackwall tunnel, half a mile away, which have some of the highest levels of pollution in London.
Drivers using the new tunnel and the Blackwall tunnel will be charged an additional toll to cover construction and maintenance costs. This will be on top of the £12.50 charge to enter the Ulez zone, and the £11.50 congestion charge for those driving into central London.
A £1 million fund has been set aside to help local businesses adapt to the new charge, while residents will be able to register for free use for the first year.
Around 37 buses an hour will run in each direction, including new zero-emission double-deckers. These will link places such as Stratford and Canary Wharf to Eltham, Grove Park and Charlton for the first time.
The project will also include the construction of noise barriers along the approach roads, green spaces around tunnel entrances and walking and cycling upgrades.
Analysis of data by navigation app Waze identified the north and south approaches to the Blackwall tunnel as the worst roads for snarl-ups in the capital, with drivers facing delays of up to 91 minutes.
TfL said it is also the “least reliable of London’s crossings”: it was closed more than 700 times in 2017/18.
Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, said: “The need for more river crossings in East London, to unlock growth and for better access to jobs and services, has been clear for decades.
“The Silvertown tunnel is vital to support London’s economy. It’s designed to resolve the congestion problem around Blackwall and improve air quality. We are committed to ensuring it’s delivered with minimal impact to residents.”