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Debate rages over new Thames bridges at Thamesmead and Belvedere
After scrapping the project when he first came to power, Boris Johnson's renewed plans for a bridge across the river at Thamesmead are proving as divisive as ever.
Transport for London (TfL) is now consulting on a package of river crossings to be built by 2030, including either a ferry or a £600m bridge at Gallions Reach - the same spot as the axed Thames Gateway Bridge.
The plans also include a bridge costing up to £900m linking Rainham and Belvedere, along with a new Woolwich ferry service.
TfL says the crossings are needed to boost development, jobs and homes, along with addressing increased demand to cross the river at Blackwall.
But a new campaign group, No to Gallions, has already sprung up in Plumstead, launching a Facebook page, planning a public meeting and warning of increased traffic congestion, noise and air pollution.
Tracey Jensen from the group said: "We are really worried about the future of the area for the next generation. Plumstead is a lovely area for families. Local people seem to be completely unaware of what’s going on.
"We need to act now. When your kids can’t cross the road or play in the street for traffic it will be too late to do anything about it."
Previous plans for a Thames Gateway Bridge were thrown out by a planning inspector in 2007 after a mass of objections from residents and environmental groups.
Stewart Christie, already camapigning against a new tunnel at the Greenwich peninsula, said: "Recent public transport improvements in south east London have only brought us up to the 20th century standards seen elsewhere in the capital for over 100 years.
"We need to be looking at new, radical ideas to improve this further before contemplating outdated, discredited schemes from a bygone era."
Environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, have also hit out at the plans, arguing new roads will quickly fill with more traffic.
Green London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: "It would be crazy for the mayor and TfL to push for a Gallions Reach crossing which would require more hugely expensive new roads to be built and would generate more pollution and more traffic in one of the dirtiest parts of London.
"TfL admit that a bridge at Belvedere would result in traffic changes throughout east and south east London and this would make poor air quality there even worse."
The Mayor of London said: "Delivering new river crossings to the east is going to be vital to the future success and prosperity of the capital."
He added: "From new bridges to ferry services, there's a range of options on the table. We want Londoners to tell us what they think and make their voices heard."
The consultation runs for 10 weeks until September 12. Visit the website to have your say and for more information.
The news comes as detailed plans for a similarly controversial Silvertown Tunnel link on the peninsula - which would be tolled along with the neighbouring Blackwall Tunnel - look set to be unveiled next month.