For too long Southwark residents have had a poor deal when it comes to transport.
Under a new administration at City Hall, things are looking up.
Sadiq Khan has accelerated plans for a new pedestrian and cycling bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. This was a key manifesto commitment and I’m pleased our Labour Mayor is delivering on his promises to Londoners.
I would also like to congratulate the work of the local MP Neil Coyle, Southwark Councillors and local transport and community groups who have campaigned tirelessly for this much-needed river-crossing.
In addition to providing a free, green way to get across the river, the bridge will ease overcrowding on the Jubilee Line and local buses. This is great for Southwark residents going to work or to visit East London, and good news for Southwark businesses and attractions.
This fantastic news comes as part of a range of proposals to re-balance the historic lack of Thames crossings east of Tower Bridge. This includes improved plans for a Silvertown Tunnel, which has the potential to alleviate traffic and congestion in Southwark by giving an alternative to the Blackwall Tunnel, and will also provide an opportunity to create new bus links to East London.
These are all great strides from a Transport perspective, but also go a way towards addressing the pressing issue of air pollution. Around 9,400 deaths per year in London are attributed to our toxic air and addressing this is a top priority for the Mayor and Assembly.
The Rotherhithe Bridge is subject to approvals, availability of land and funding. The Garden Bridge project is currently under review by Dame Margaret Hodge MP. £40 million of public money has been wasted on this so far, expected to cost £185 million if it is ever built. I hope that this review sees the end of another of Boris’ vanity projects, and public money can be better spent on a useful river-crossing for Londoners.
I would encourage Southwark residents to engage with the Mayor’s Air Quality consultation online – www.consultations.tfl.gov.uk