Plans for three new Thames river crossings are expected to provide a major boost for residential development in east London.

Earlier this month, mayor of London Sadiq Khan committed to develop three new Thames crossings and explore options for two more. He gave the green light to proposals for a new Silvertown Tunnel following a public consultation, as well as a new crossing for the DLR at Gallions Reach and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

The mayor also agreed to explore options for a new ferry service connecting North Greenwich with Canary Wharf, as well as a new crossing for the London Overground line connecting Barking Riverside with Abbey Wood.

Relieving congestion

The Silvertown Tunnel, which will connect Greenwich Peninsula with West Silvertown, is aimed at relieving congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and will allow for buses and an on-demand cycle-bus service.

The tunnel - along with the proposed ferry service - will be a boon to development of the Greenwich Peninsula, where 13,000 new homes are planned as part of Knight Dragon’s redevelopment of the area, as well as Silvertown Quays, where a new employment area is being developed, along with 3,000 homes.

The new DLR line will help stimulate plans for the regeneration of Thamesmead. Housing association Peabody is undertaking a wide-ranging regeneration of the town, including 2,000 homes on the Tamesis Point site, where the DLR crossing is expected to be built.

Peabody expects this to rise to as many as 8,000 homes as a result of the DLR crossing, with as many as 20,000 new homes built as part of the regeneration programme.

“[The crossing] will provide fantastic transport links for the existing community, attract new businesses to the area, create a vibrant town centre and drive the economy in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way,” says John Lewis, Peabody executive director for Thamesmead.

Barking boost

The proposed London Overground extension would also have a dramatic impact on Barking Riverside, where more than 10,000 new homes are planned and would provide even greater connectivity to Thamesmead. The crossings are expected to be completed in the next five to 10 years, with Transport for London now pressing ahead with developing more detailed plans.

David Leam, infrastructure director at London First, says he is delighted with the plans. “Better river crossings will help unlock the economic potential of east and south-east London and connect thousands of new homes in Newham, Barking, Greenwich and elsewhere,” he says.