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Silvertown Tunnel Good News for East London Deliveries

Desiree Michels

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Delivery in East London could be transformed in the near future, thanks to a proposed tunnel which will link the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks, the FTA has announced. This is great news for hauliers and drivers, as it will provide a useful new Thames crossing whilst reducing the notorious congestion at the Blackwell Tunnel.

The proposed Silvertown Tunnel will connect to the A102 Blackwell Tunnel Approach on the south side and A1020 Silvertown Way/Lower Lea Crossing on the north side. This generally follows the Emirates Air Line cable car alignment.

The Timeline of the Project

The origins of this tunnel date back to 2012, when the Secretary of State for Transport designated it as a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project” – this means that TFL must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) in order to begin London roadworks and operate the scheme. In October 2016, the Silvertown Tunnel proposal was given the green light and a six-month public examination scheme started the same month.

Following the completion of this, the Planning Inspectorate then must make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport. The application must then be approved within 3 months. This means that the earliest construction could begin would be 2018, with 2022/23 the target for having the tunnel operational.

The Potential Benefits of the Silvertown Tunnel

Although still very early on, this is exciting news as it would have an enormous impact on HGV drivers, the residents of East London, the economy and also the environment. These are the key benefits that have been outlined by TFL:

  • Improved journey times for lorry drivers
  • Cut down on queuing at Blackwell Tunnel and the approach roads
  • Reduced local pollution and unplanned incidents from traffic congestion
  • Improve road connections between east London and Docklands from south London
  • Create new jobs in the area
  • Help local employers to access new markets
  • Possibility for new cross-river bus links in east London

It has also been stated that user charging at both Silvertown and Blackwell Tunnels will be included to manage demand whilst also providing funds for London roadworks and the maintenance of the new tunnel.

Christopher Snelling, the FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy, expressed his delight for both east London and freight drivers:

“The congestion we currently have at crossings like Blackwell causes massive unnecessary local pollution and disruption for residents – we would all be better off with smoother flowing traffic. This new crossing will not be enough to solve everything, but it will be a big step forward. It will help the local economy and communities as it will support the logistics industry as it tries to provide the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of goods that London needs every day to keep functioning.

We believe that this tunnel is excellent news for East London deliveries thanks to the changes in traffic patterns and new routes for deliveries.

Author Plate

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange is the leading service for matching haulage jobs with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on London roadworks and other freight industry related topics. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.


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