Transport for London's consultation on the proposed Gallions & Belvedere crossings closes on Friday this week, 12 February.
TfL are proposing two new road crossings linking Beckton (Gallions) and Dagenham (Belvedere) to the Thamesmead area, which will generate a massive growth in vehicle traffic through surrounding neighbourhoods. Whether bridge or tunnel has not yet been decided: we do know they will be major new roads, with little if any provision for public transport, walking and cycling. All this at the time that Londoners' car use has been falling for a decade.
It's a massive missed opportunity for truly sustainable development and improved transport links available to all. What future transport vision would you prefer for London?
Local campaigners from No to Gallions and BARC have been mounting impressive arguments against the congestion, extra traffic, air pollution and community severance that will result if these damaging plans go ahead, echoing the case made by the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign on earlier tunnel proposals. Their strong campaigning saw consultation responses on the Silvertown Tunnel show falling levels of support as awareness grew.
Campaign for Better Transport is also making a submission against the plans. The new road crossings proposed at Silvertown, Gallions and Belvedere would see public transport, walking and cycling marginalised at best, excluded at worst. This is a huge wasted opportunity to provide sustainable future-proofed transport links that go with the grain of Londoners’ lives and support a safe and healthy environment.
Further east, Highways England has launched a consultation on a major new road tunnel crossing from East Tilbury to Gravesham. Their consultation documents set out the lessons of the Dartford Crossing while failing to learn from them, admitting “Analysis of traffic data shows that traffic demand at Dartford has responded in step with capacity; such that whenever new capacity has been provided, it has filled up and created the need for more capacity. This has been a recurring pattern since the second tunnel was opened at Dartford in 1980 and then the QEII Bridge in 1991. Today there is insufficient capacity to cater for current and future traffic demand.”.
Back in the capital, the departing Mayor is clearing out his desk, and finding stuff that would be better binned. The absurd idea that what London needs is more road tunnels – of unprecedented length with incalculable impact built at unspecified cost from unidentified funds – is the latest wheeze. Plans for inner London motorways have been rejected before and should be rejected firmly once more by all future Mayors.
The campaign against the Gallions & Belvedere road crossings is one of many fights to come. We’ll continue to press for a truly sustainable vision for London’s transport.