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London Chamber of Commerce hits out at Treasury over East London river crossings

PUBLISHED: 13:16 30 May 2013 | UPDATED: 19:31 30 May 2013

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has hit out at the Treasury for failing to maximise the economic potential of East London by not planning for new river crossings.

It comes after Newham and Greenwich councils launched a joint campaign earlier this year for more river crossings —proposing a new tunnel between Silvertown and Greenwich and a new bridge at Gallions Reach retail park. The campaign was met by a demonstration against the proposals.

Responding to a parliamentary question on new river crossings over the Thames, Treasury Minister Danny Alexander MP admitted no economic assessment of the need to improve road infrastructure in east London had been undertaken by the Treasury or its agency Infrastructure UK, according to the chamber.

Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Colin Stanbridge, said: “This is a shocking admission from the Treasury that they have done no work on the need for new river crossings within inner east London.

“The Government invested billions in getting East London ready for the Olympics but now admit to having failed to maximise that substantial investment by not planning what infrastructure will be essential for future growth in the east of our city.

“Greater connectivity across the river would allow businesses to work more efficiently, ensure swifter deliveries and enable thousands to commute to work more quickly.

A Treasury spokeswoman said they work close with the Department for Transport and Transport for London to prioritise and deliver key economic infrastructure.

She said: “TfL recently consulted on additional river crossings in East London, including the Silvertown tunnel and the Gallions Reach ferry.

“HM Treasury and Infrastructure UK will be working alongside TfL and DfT to consider the next steps to consider these future projects.”

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