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Will the Silvertown Tunnel ever be built?

By Adam Bienkov
30 October 2012, 18:00

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Lots of press this week for Boris Johnson’s umpteemph announcement that there will be a new road tunnel under the Thames at Silvertown.

But will there really? Despite telling us last year that the government have backed the tunnel, TfL now admit that there is no funding whatsoever in place.

And today Boris came out against the only alternative source of funding TfL have so far proposed:

He told LBC that:

“I certainly won’t be putting in a toll in my Mayoral career… my Mayoral lifetime…”

Which is one promise he can’t fail to keep.

TfL admit that the earliest the tunnel can be built is 2021. That’s at least five years after Boris plans to leave City Hall.

If Boris really wanted to build a new road crossing east of Tower Bridge then he would have started four years ago.

Instead he cancelled the only plan in place for a new crossing, and has spent the remaining time messing around with cable cars instead.

If Silvertown Tunnel ever does get built, then it won’t be by Boris.

Interestingly, while Ken Livingstone opposed the crossing Labour’s London Assembly leader and chairman of the London Labour Party Len Duvall told me earlier this year that he backs both the tunnel and the proposed tolls to pay for it.

Could it be the next Labour Mayor of London who actually decides whether this goes ahead?

Adam Bienkov
Adam is a reporter for Politics.co.uk You can find links to his other work at AdamBienkov.com.

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