New river crossing is needed to ‘unlock the potential of East London’
12:39 26 March 2014
A new river crossing is needed to “unlock the potential of East London”, according to the London Chamber of Commerce which has launched a campaign for another bridge.
It says a new crossing between Beckton and Thamesmead would create up to 18,000 more jobs, add £55.7m to the economy each year, support 80,000 new homes and lead to fewer delays on the roads.
Speaking at the launch of Bridge East, Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce said: “The Olympics focused the world’s attention on the fact that east London has a huge potential. But for economic growth to be successful, we need good infrastructure and we want the Greater London Authority and TfL to take it up as a one of their priorities.”
The new crossing would cost in the region of £600 million and could be tolled to repay expenditure, especially at peak times.
The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, described a new bridge as a “no-brainer”.
“It is obvious that there have got to be more crossings,” he said. “Because of the transport infrastructure we put in Stratford for the Olympics we have created jobs and this bridge in turn will create more employment.”
Matthew Hall, chief commercial officer for London City Airport, said the airport’s planned growth would be facilitated by better transport links.
“Without it, we strongly feel that the development potential of East London and London as a whole will be denied some of the possibilities that could be realised,” he added.
Other speakers at the launch, held at the University of East London’s Knowledge Dock Business Centre, included Lord Adonis, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, and a giant letter to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, asking him to commit to the new river crossing was signed by leading London business people.
Clive Randall, membership and marketing manager for Docklands Business Club, said members were supportive of the proposals.
“I think a bridge would bring money and employment to the area and it is becoming especially important with all the homes that are planned for this part of East London,” he said.
For more information, or to sign the petition, visit londonchamber.co.uk/bridgeeastlondon