Plans for Gallions Reach bridge to Thamesmead a 'no-brainer'

Plans for Gallions Reach bridge to Thamesmead a 'no-brainer'

Lord Adonis pledges his support for a Gallions Reach bridge.

Plans for a Thames Gateway bridge were shelved in 2008.

Boris Johnson backs some sort of new crossing by 2020.

Coun Gareth Bacon says Bexley resident's lives would be "blighted" by a Gallions Reach bridge.

First published in News
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A former Labour transport secretary has called plans for a road bridge at Gallions Reach in Thamesmead a “no-brainer”.

Lord Andrew Adonis also slammed Mayor Boris Johnson for shelving plans for a Thames Gateway bridge on coming to power in 2008.

The shadow minister for infrastructure was one of the speakers at the launch of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Bridge East London campaign this morning calling for a new river crossing east of Tower Bridge.

Speaking to News Shopper after the event Lord Adonis said: “I think there is momentum but it depends upon the Mayor and depends upon him taking some decisions after May because he cancelled it in 2008 and he needs to revisit that decision.

“If Boris had gone ahead with building it in 2008 it would have opened last year.

“If he were to take a decision in the next year, who knows? He might get it open by 2020.”

Lord Adonis pointed to a TFL consultation in May last year in which 68 per cent of respondents in Bexley backed building a bridge between Beckton and Thamesmead rather than another ferry or simply doing nothing.

He said: “It was a good test of opinion and there is a groundswell of support for this.

“There is very strong popular support for this bridge because it would unlock tens thousands of jobs and homes.

“What have we done in the last two generations to supplement the work of the great Victorians?

“We have three times proposed a bridge in east London and three times cancelled it.

“This is a no-brainer in political terms – we should just get on and do it.”

The LCCI argues Gallions has the greatest potential to both ease traffic congestion on either side of the river as it will use different approach roads to the Blackwall Tunnel and also unlock land for much needed housing development.

In addition, Lord Adonis backed plans for a Silvertown Tunnel and a new Lower Thames Crossing to address the fact there are 22 bridges to the west of Tower Bridge and only two to the east.

But Bexley Council cabinet member for the environment and public realm, Councillor Gareth Bacon, accused the LCCI of “dusting off old, discredited plans”.

He told News Shopper: “Thousands of Bexley residents could have their lives blighted by a bridge at Gallions Reach.

“A bridge there would not do anything for anyone. 

“Nobody has come up with anything that could solve the problems of congestion at Knee Hill, Brampton Road and Long Lane.”

Coun Bacon says the council is not opposed to a new bridge but would prefer other options be looked at, including the site of the current Woolwich Ferry.

He said: “The roads on both sides are much better able to support the volume of traffic which would result from a fixed transport link.” 

Belvedere Councillor Sean Newman says the Bexley Labour group backs plans for a bridge.  

He said: "This is a massive opportunity, with the correct traffic mitigation, to develop and regenerate our borough and Bexley will benefit from lots of investment.

"The Tory council is peddling scare stories for short-term political gain, but Bexley residents are wise to it."

Mr Johnson has recently said he would like to see “further bridge crossings to the east of Tower Bridge” by 2020.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor said: “The Mayor has been a strong and vocal supporter for more river crossings in east London and is pushing them ahead as fast as national infrastructure processes allow.

“He has already built the Emirates Air Line, which has carried 3.4 million passengers, and is pressing ahead with the Silvertown Tunnel in order to double capacity of Blackwall by 2022.

“He is also finalising the consultation on possible crossings east of Silvertown to unlock massive opportunity areas for homes and jobs.”

Follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/tim.macfarlan.1 or on Twitter @NewsShopperTim

Comments (8)

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4:41pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Outandabout says...

I think it always makes people sound pig **** thick when they use terms like 'No brainer'. That Lord Adonis, he really loves himself
I think it always makes people sound pig **** thick when they use terms like 'No brainer'. That Lord Adonis, he really loves himself Outandabout
  • Score: -1

4:44pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Wombles4000 says...

Most people I know in Bexley want a crossing. They are fed up of having to use the Blackwall which is a big detour and always packed. Areas like Thamesmead and Erith would be much better off if not being cut off.

A shame Bexley council keeps blocking it and allowing much of the borough to stagnate and not feel the benefits of better links. Will remember that in the elections in may.
Most people I know in Bexley want a crossing. They are fed up of having to use the Blackwall which is a big detour and always packed. Areas like Thamesmead and Erith would be much better off if not being cut off. A shame Bexley council keeps blocking it and allowing much of the borough to stagnate and not feel the benefits of better links. Will remember that in the elections in may. Wombles4000
  • Score: 12

5:43pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Joelo says...

The only reason Bexley council keep blocking it is because the majority of people objecting live in the south of the borough. For those of us who live in the north and especially Thamesmead like myself our options count for nothing even though we would feel any negative effect.

Boris has a lot to answer for as we could already have a bridge by now and also the DLR in north Bexley as that was also proposed to cross the river via the Thames gateway bridge. How anyone can use the cable car as a positive is beyond me! It's the most useless waste of time and money ever!

Enough is enough, we need a bridge, we want a bridge so stop talking about it and build it.
The only reason Bexley council keep blocking it is because the majority of people objecting live in the south of the borough. For those of us who live in the north and especially Thamesmead like myself our options count for nothing even though we would feel any negative effect. Boris has a lot to answer for as we could already have a bridge by now and also the DLR in north Bexley as that was also proposed to cross the river via the Thames gateway bridge. How anyone can use the cable car as a positive is beyond me! It's the most useless waste of time and money ever! Enough is enough, we need a bridge, we want a bridge so stop talking about it and build it. Joelo
  • Score: 12

6:28pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Londonlaus says...

I live in west Thamesmead and this would be a logistical nightmare to get out of my own road ! One end is now blocked by cross rail and if the Blackwall tunnel is shut along side the Woolwich ferry being busy it will take me hours to get out of Woolwich as it did two weeks ago. If the new bridge were built the other end of my road ( the Only other exit) and was busy I would be stuck! God forbid an ambulance needed to get to my area. I wish they would think it out properly and not ostracize a whole community .
I live in west Thamesmead and this would be a logistical nightmare to get out of my own road ! One end is now blocked by cross rail and if the Blackwall tunnel is shut along side the Woolwich ferry being busy it will take me hours to get out of Woolwich as it did two weeks ago. If the new bridge were built the other end of my road ( the Only other exit) and was busy I would be stuck! God forbid an ambulance needed to get to my area. I wish they would think it out properly and not ostracize a whole community . Londonlaus
  • Score: -5

6:19am Wed 26 Mar 14

oBLiVioN 70 says...

Londonlaus wrote:
I live in west Thamesmead and this would be a logistical nightmare to get out of my own road ! One end is now blocked by cross rail and if the Blackwall tunnel is shut along side the Woolwich ferry being busy it will take me hours to get out of Woolwich as it did two weeks ago. If the new bridge were built the other end of my road ( the Only other exit) and was busy I would be stuck! God forbid an ambulance needed to get to my area. I wish they would think it out properly and not ostracize a whole community .
I'm sure the people of Greenwich are happy about the traffic they have to endure as am I when the dartford crossing chokes up all the local roads, not to mention all the wasted hours for those commuting from south east to east London.

People seem to have the same attitude, we need more crossings so long as it's not on their own doorstep.
[quote][p][bold]Londonlaus[/bold] wrote: I live in west Thamesmead and this would be a logistical nightmare to get out of my own road ! One end is now blocked by cross rail and if the Blackwall tunnel is shut along side the Woolwich ferry being busy it will take me hours to get out of Woolwich as it did two weeks ago. If the new bridge were built the other end of my road ( the Only other exit) and was busy I would be stuck! God forbid an ambulance needed to get to my area. I wish they would think it out properly and not ostracize a whole community .[/p][/quote]I'm sure the people of Greenwich are happy about the traffic they have to endure as am I when the dartford crossing chokes up all the local roads, not to mention all the wasted hours for those commuting from south east to east London. People seem to have the same attitude, we need more crossings so long as it's not on their own doorstep. oBLiVioN 70
  • Score: 7

5:07pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Wombles4000 says...

That's the thing - build more and spread them along. If we in the east had the choice they have in central London and the west then there would be less congestion as the load is spread more thinly. The first crossing will make a limited impact but needs to be part of a rolling program.
That's the thing - build more and spread them along. If we in the east had the choice they have in central London and the west then there would be less congestion as the load is spread more thinly. The first crossing will make a limited impact but needs to be part of a rolling program. Wombles4000
  • Score: 5

9:01pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Bus Driver says...

Seeing as I've just started regularly commuting from Erith to Rainham in Essex I'd love a viable alternative to the Dartford Crossing, however that said I'm not sure the A206 would cope with the extra traffic without some widening work as it already jams up most mornings especially along the Queens Road/South Road section between the Fish Roundabout and Larner Road. The fact remains the Blackwall and Dartford Crossings are just not sufficient for the volume of traffic coming from Kent.
Seeing as I've just started regularly commuting from Erith to Rainham in Essex I'd love a viable alternative to the Dartford Crossing, however that said I'm not sure the A206 would cope with the extra traffic without some widening work as it already jams up most mornings especially along the Queens Road/South Road section between the Fish Roundabout and Larner Road. The fact remains the Blackwall and Dartford Crossings are just not sufficient for the volume of traffic coming from Kent. Bus Driver
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Wombles4000 says...

There's a plan (another one that will probably never happen mind) for a crossing past Dartford linking Kent with Essex. That could take some Kent traffic, getting rid of barriers would ease Dartford, then build another at Thamesmead. In addition another crossing for trains/DLR will help congestion. All this together will help. Even then more will be needed in future years but it will greatly improve things.
There's a plan (another one that will probably never happen mind) for a crossing past Dartford linking Kent with Essex. That could take some Kent traffic, getting rid of barriers would ease Dartford, then build another at Thamesmead. In addition another crossing for trains/DLR will help congestion. All this together will help. Even then more will be needed in future years but it will greatly improve things. Wombles4000
  • Score: 2

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