According to reports Cintra Global have been selected as preferred bidder by Transport for London to build the £1 billion Silvertown Tunnel linking Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks
In recent weeks protests have taken to the area outside City Hall to ask the Mayor to think again. Sadiq Khan approved the project within weeks of taking office with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and the Department for Transport giving the green light last summer.
Greenwich Council still support the scheme despite neighbor Newham Council over the Thames now opposing. Greenwich state they support as part of a “package of crossings” including DLR to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood plus a bridge at Thamesmead, though they are not confirmed, let alone near starting.
Concerns about the tunnel are not just related to pollution but congestion and displaced traffic.
The tunnel will be tolled alongside the Blackwall Tunnel and Greenwich Council have asked that Woolwich ferry be tolled if traffic increases. This below screenshot is taken from the Development Consent Order:
Many have mentioned the Woolwich Ferry Royal Charter but if Greenwich Council, TfL and central government agree then tolls will come in. It would require the 1885 Metropolitan Board of Works Act to be amended. Controversial perhaps but far from impossible.
One major concern is tolling Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels will not just push cars towards Woolwich ferry but also see vehicles heading west to the free Rotherhithe Tunnel through central Greenwich and Deptford – which is already see thousands of homes planned at sites such as Convoys Wharf with sizable amounts of car parking planned.
The new tunnel could also see heavy congestion from day one at the northern portal. Unlike Blackwall Tunnel with free flowing traffic north of the Thames, Silvertown traffic will meet a large number of traffic lights and signalled junctions.
If nothing changes the contract for £1 billion will be finalised in coming weeks.
Last week I covered a new application which will see more trees chopped down in Greenwich Peninsula above and beyond earlier plans.