Consultation begins on proposed Thames crossings
Transport for London has launched an initial public consultation on the proposed new river crossings in east London.
The two proposals, a new vehicle ferry crossing at Gallions Reach and a new road tunnel at Silvertown, could be open by 2017 and 2021 respectively if funding is found and planning permission is granted.
TfL said the road tunnel would be located next to Blackwall Tunnel, connecting Silvertown with the Greenwich Peninsula. If approved, it would transport up to 6,000 vehicles per hour. The full gauge tunnel would also help prevent closures caused by over-height vehicles attempting to use the Blackwall Tunnel.
The vehicle ferry between Beckton and Thamesmead could transport up to 600 vehicles per hour and could replace the existing ferry service at Woolwich, which has been operating since 1963.
The new river crossings would be in addition to the Emirates Air Line, the UK's first urban cable car, scheduled to open this summer and are seen as vital in ensuring the continued prosperity of east London, which is already undergoing huge development.
Up to 13,000 jobs and 24,500 new homes are expected in the opportunity areas of the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula alone.
TfL Director of Planning Michele Dix, said: "TfL continually looks at the changing needs of London and how its future development can be supported by the right transport infrastructure.
"A new road tunnel and a new vehicle ferry crossing would meet this growing demand whilst strengthening this area's and London's overall economic growth. This initial consultation will help us understand the public's opinion on these proposals."
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "These two new major river crossings will be an enormous economic boost to Londoners living and working in the east of the capital, facilitate further regeneration and development, and help to keep our city moving.
"I hope Londoners will get involved with this consultation and make their voices heard on these exciting proposals."
The public consultation runs until March 5. Go to tfl.gov.uk/rivercrossings. The results should be published in spring 2012.