New river crossings could spell end for Woolwich Ferry

There is a “pressing need” for a new road crossing of the Thames at Silvertown, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

He has backed plans for the so-called Silvertown Link, but says Transport for London does not have the cash to go ahead with construction.

In a series of written answer to London Assembly members, Mayor Johnson also suggested the Woolwich Ferry could be axed.

He said the 122-year-old service could be replaced with a new ferry from Gallions Reach, along the route of the scrapped Thames Gateway bridge.

He also refused to rule out introducing tolls for the planned Silvertown road crossing — which could be a bridge or a tunnel — if it becomes a reality.


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He was challenged on his plans for new river crossings east of Tower Bridge by assembly members James Cleverly and Len Duvall at Mayor’s Question Time.

In a written answer to Mr Cleverly he said: “There is a pressing need to provide an additional road crossing at Silvertown to provide greater resilience to the road network and support longer term growth of the surrounding area.

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“Although there is some development funding, there is no funding in TfL’s budget for building a new crossing at Silvertown and I have asked TfL to explore a number of options for how this could be funded.”

Responding to Mr Duvall, Mayor Johnson also hinted the Thames Gateway bridge may go ahead in the longer term.

He said: “I have asked TfL to come forward with detailed proposals to improve connectivity further east at Gallions Reach through a new crossing, which could be in the form of a new vehicle ferry as a replacement to the Woolwich Ferry, retaining longer term potential for a bridge in this location provided the problems with previous proposals have been addressed.”

He said he would make further announcements on his plans shortly.

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