The controversial Silvertown tunnel moved a step closer to realisation today with the naming of a preferred funding and construction partner by Transport for London.
The agency has chosen a consortium comprising of Aberdeen Standard Investments, BAM PPP PGGM, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C) to build the twin-bore tunnel connecting the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.
Once operational in 2025, the tunnel will carry around 37 buses an hour operating in both directions, in addition to private and commercial vehicles.
TfL insists the new river crossing will “effectively eliminate” congestion around the Blackwall Tunnel and “deliver an overall improvement in air quality.”
However some residents and campaigners say the project will actually increase both traffic levels and air pollution.
Under its agreement with TfL, the Riverlinx consortium will design, finance and build the tunnel and TfL will only start paying for the tunnel once it’s completed and operational.
Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL said: “The need for more river crossings in East London, to unlock growth and give residents and businesses better access to jobs and services, has been clear for decades.
“The Silvertown Tunnel, which is vital to support London’s economy, has been designed to resolve the existing congestion problem around Blackwall, improve overall air quality and enable new cross-river bus routes to be introduced.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the project is delivered with minimal impact to local residents. We will closely monitor noise and air quality during construction and traffic levels and emissions once the tunnel is complete.”