How Silvertown tunnel is shaping up a year before opening

Over the past couple of years this site has taken regular looks at an evolving landscapes around Silvertown as a new £2.2 billion road tunnel is constructed.

Many of those updates have shown progress from the adjacent cable car looking down with recent updates showing cut and cover elements now all but complete and the control tower revealed.

In recent weeks I’ve also taken a few photos from street level nearby and maybe that’s of interest, so here’s a few images.

New tunnel building on left

The above image was taken near City Hall which is now based within the former Siemen’s Centre beside Royal Victoria Dock. That green structure on the left is the main base of operations for staff maintaining and monitoring the tunnel upon opening.

Silvertown Way in the foreground sits between City Hall and the tunnel entrance and has seen some remodelling work over the past year which appears pretty much finished now.

Heading a bit south and the below view is taken from the south out of a rather grimy DLR window.

Viewed from DLR

That crane is located above what were cut and cover elements of the tunnel leading to the main portal beneath the Thames. Note City Hall on the right.

And if you missed my last post here’s an image from above showing approach roads.

Silvertown tunnel structure

On another recent trip (when the sun was actually out) I was able to nab the much sought-after driver’s seat and capture this on approach to the area.

The green control structure is again just about visible beyond the elevated Silvertown Way.

Looking through DLR towards tunnel

From this point the DLR is one day due to stop at a new station before it reaches Canning Town – but there’s as yet no confirmed funding.

So while TfL found money for a road tunnel, they couldn’t for a new station that could unlock thousands of homes.

In terms of what’s happening below ground, Transport for London recently released a few photos showing work inside the tunnel where traffic will meet existing congested southbound traffic in Greenwich heading towards Kidbrooke, Eltham then out into Kent.

Inside new tunnel. Courtesy TfL

No meetings

In regards to traffic modelling, latest data and the like there’s been little revealed recently with no meetings of the Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group held since February.

It comprises both TfL and borough officers discussing progress and in previous years met in May or June. None listed so far this year. Perhaps both the Mayoral and national elections have seen that draw to a halt.

The latest TfL Board meeting held yesterday and accompanying reports also contained little of interest regarding the new crossing.

Two tunnels will converge into same roadspace heading south through Greenwich

In coming months we should start to hear more about the level of tolls to be applied to both the Blackwall and Silvertown crossings. That’ll be fun. Expect many politicians to make a big thing of it when their own party had already agreed to them.

Of course, whether those measures will do an awful lot with two tunnel’s worth of traffic heading onto existing roads southbound at Greenwich is another matter. Plus there’s the potential impact of those seeking to avoid paying tolls and instead heading to Rotherhithe or Woolwich instead.

We’ll find out when it opens in a year’s time.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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