Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has welcomed plans for a cycle bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe – and tried to ease concerns over the planned Silvertown Tunnel.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled a package of crossings to address the shortfall in the east of the capital with new rail links between the Docklands and Barking and the south as well as a range of non-road crossings around the Isle of Dogs.

In an effort to reduce concern over air pollution, Mayor Khan introduced some mitigation on the controversial Silvertown Tunnel, including during the building phase which will see more use of the river. He also said it would be easier to take bikes through the tunnel on special buses.

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In response, Mayor Biggs said: “The announcement of changes to the proposed Silvertown Tunnel making it more cycle and pedestrian friendly should be welcomed.

“East London has always suffered from a lack of river crossing. As a result those we do have, like the Blackwall tunnel are well over capacity, often resulting in huge traffic jams and making south Poplar one of the most polluted areas in London.

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“I know there are people who will understandably be concerned about the Silvertown Tunnel proposals but I strongly believe that by relieving pressure on the Blackwall tunnel not only will traffic flow more freely and efficiently, but air pollution can be reduced by cutting down on queues.

"What is more, Silvertown will accommodate double-deck buses and can increase public transport options for travellers. I am clear that the majority of journeys across the Thames can and should be by public transport.”

Cycle crossing welcome

Mayor Biggs added: “I’m delighted to hear that the Mayor of London is considering Sustrans’ ground-breaking proposal for a cycle bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.

“Tower Hamlets already has some excellent cycle infrastructure but crossing the river can be a nightmare, particularly for cyclists.

“This bridge will not only help relieve pressure on the Jubilee line, it will make it even easier for people to cycle in our great city. And it might provide some relief in Cable Street and Limehouse, where the volume of bikes sometimes causes nuisance for residents.”

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