Boris Johnson announces plans for Beckton to Chiswick tunnel

Boris Johnson has today unveiled plans for the two giant traffic-busting tunnels (Picture: PA Images

Boris Johnson has today unveiled plans for the two giant traffic-busting tunnels (Picture: PA Images) - Credit: PA WIRE

A new cross-city tunnel between Beckton and Chiswick could reduce congestion by up to 20 per cent, Boris Johnson has claimed.

The two tunnels would run from east to west London

The two tunnels would run from east to west London - Credit: Archant

The Mayor of London today unveiled plans for two east-west toll links designed to cut down the amount of rush-hour traffic in central London.

These would save the economy £1billion a year through journey time reliability alone and free up space for new homes, he claimed.

The second tunnel, currently known as the northern cross-city corridor, would run between Hackney Wick and Park Royal.

Other options being looked at include an orbital tunnel and ‘flyunders’.

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Mr Johnson said: “Our major programme of capital investment in the city’s roads is transforming neighbourhoods across the city, making our roads safer, and cleaning up our air.

“But we need to go further. By pushing forward strategic initiatives we are outlining today, we will lay the foundation for the next wave of improvements to everyone’s experience of the road network across the city.”

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He also confirmed work on the Silvertown tunnel could begin as early as 2018 and be fully operational by 2022, should it be approved.

The Transport for London Board has given the green light for the submission of a development consent order for permission to start construction on the tunnel, which would enable 37 buses per hour to cross in each direction.

It was revealed that of more than 4,000 people that responded to TfL’s public consultation on the plans, 58pc supported the tunnel and 31pc opposed it.

It is estimated that congestion in inner London boroughs could increase by 25pc in the next 15 years, with a 15pc rise in outer London boroughs, if the transport network is left unmanaged. Central London could see a rise of up to 60pc.

Richard de Cani, TfL’s managing director of planning, said: “With London’s population set to soar over the next few decades we need to take a different long term approach to how we use London’s road space, to manage capacity and better utilise valuable land for housing and creating public spaces.

“The planning we do today, including exploring better ways to fund vital infrastructure, will benefit Londoners for generations to come, helping make London a better place in which to live, work and travel.”

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