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Roads to Nowhere

What are the alternatives to new road crossings?

Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering and Lewisham are the only boroughs in London to have no direct public transport connections across the River Thames, and no new dedicated public transport connections are currently proposed.

Before building new roads, much more must be done to make new journeys possible by public transport. Currently travelling from boroughs in east and south-east London to the other side of the river involves long and circuitous routes. New public transport connections will reduce the demand for existing road crossings and negate the need for wasting billions of pounds on further congested and polluting roads.

What exists?

The eight boroughs on either side of the Thames to the east of Tower Bridge are currently served by the following public transport connections:

  • London Overground connects Southwark with Tower Hamlets
  • Jublilee line connects Southwark with Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets with Greenwich, and Greenwich with Newham
  • DLR connects Tower Hamlets with Greenwich, and Newham with Greenwich
  • Greenwich foot tunnel connects Greenwich with Tower Hamlets
  • London Buses route 108 connects Greenwich with Tower Hamlets
  • Emirates Air Line connects Greenwich with Newham
  • Woolwich foot tunnel connects Greenwich with Newham
  • Woolwich free ferry connects Greenwich with Newham

These are currently the only public transport links to the east of Tower Bridge for pedestrians, cyclists and bus/rail passengers.

What is planned?

Only one significant new public transport project is in the pipeline for east and south-east London:

  • Crossrail will connect Newham with Greenwich from 2018

What is missing?

Most of the cross river public transport in east and south-east London is focussed on only four boroughs (Greenwich, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets) with four boroughs (Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering and Lewisham) having no direct public transport access at all. Although Transport for London has developed plans for new road crossings to the east of Tower Bridge, there are no advanced plans for new dedicated public transport connections for boroughs not currently served. 

Tell TfL to extend the London Overground to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood

Transport for London are consulting on route options for extending the London Overground to Barking Riverside. Let them know by 21 June 2015 that you think it should be extended across the river to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood. There is also a petition to demand this new public transport link.

What is proposed?

Proposals in recent years have included:

East and south-east London need new sustainable public transport plans to be developed before new polluting roads are even considered.

Find out more about the alternatives