The Mayor Of London’s draft transport strategy appears to slam the door on a new road bridge in east London – at least in the near future.

Sadiq Khan has outlined his version of an east London river crossings package that includes the Silvertown Tunnel, the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf cycle bridge and an extension of the DLR to Thamesmead.

However, his strategy aims to reduce car journeys and increase walking, cycling and use of public transport – an underlying theme that runs entirely contrary to the idea of another road bridge, which had been mooted for the Gallions Reach area. Another, further down the river at Belvedere was also suggested.

A bridge, which would prove hugely expensive, has been out of favour ever since previous Mayor Boris Johnson put a halt to a scheme he inherited. However, it did have a brief revival as a speculation within the former Mayor’s river crossings package after extensive lobbying from the area’s business community.

Strong argument

However, Mr Khan doesn’t entirely rule out a bridge sometime in the future.

The draft strategy – which looks forward to the next 25 years – says: “As east and south-east London grow, further road crossings in this part of London may be beneficial during the course of this strategy.

“In the context of other measures in this strategy to promote a shift away from car use and to improve London’s air quality, any new road crossings would need to have a strong public transport element.”

Artist's impressions of the DLR crossing a possible Gallions Reach bridge

He has listed seven criteria any proposal would have to meet including ruling out any other public transport method to meet growth and development need; a requirement to show it was in keeping with his “healthy city” strategy; and there would be no significant adverse air quality impacts.

The strategy states: “Active travel and public transport crossings will be the first choice for further bridges and tunnels as they support healthy, sustainable living, and because public transport crossings in particular have the unique potential to unlock housing and jobs growth.”

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