Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales believes a crossing – either a bridge or a tunnel – at Gallions Reach should be built sooner rather than later.
He warned the crossing needed to become a reality as quickly as possible to tackle the predicted increase in traffic in the area and help create thousands of jobs.
His call comes after Transport for London (TfL) started a public consultation on the potential usage of a new crossing between Beckton and Thamesmead. It forms part of the Mayor of London’s idea for 13 new Thames crossings between Imperial Wharf and Dartford.
TfL has said the earliest a new crossing at Gallions Reach would be completed would be 2025 and it is planned to introduce a toll on any new crossing to help towards covering the cost of building it.
But Sir Robin is unimpressed at how long this could take.
He said: “Finally the Mayor of London has listened to our calls that a crossing at Gallions Reach is much needed by our residents and businesses and vital to the regeneration of East London.
“We have been fighting for years for a river crossing for different modes of transport to help tackle congestion and open up the economic growth in this part of London. It is bitterly disappointing that we could have to wait another decade before any crossing is finished.
“It is infuriating that our residents and businesses will be penalised for years of under investment in east London by having to pay to use any new crossing when those in west London are not charged. We will be pushing for fair reductions and concessions for local people.”