Wharf Comment: Bridge over troubled waters

By Giles Broadbent on May 6, 2010 4:02 PM |


Using that faux-naif, bumbling yet charming manner of Boris Johnson, the London Mayor has carefully cultivated an air of confusion over his thoughts on a London river crossing.

Since the '70s there have been repeated attempts to take the pressure off the Blackwall Tunnel and other beleaguered links but, so far, they have come to naught.

Ken Livingstone championed the Thames Gateway Bridge but one of Boris's first acts was to cancel the project (although, in his inimitable style, it took some deciphering to figure out his conclusion).

However, he brought on board consultants to look at this very issue at the tail-end of 2009 and, this week confirmed his conversion by expressing support for two crossings.

He is being suitably cagey about what this means in practical terms but it could mean a revival of crossings - of different levels of magnitude - at Silvertown and Beckton.

Boris is an expert in obfuscation. In response, let us be clear. New river crossings are an essential element of any Thames Gateway regeneration.