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Bexley could get Belvedere bridge as Gallions Reach crossing plans revealed
Bexley could be getting a new river crossing at Belvedere, it has been revealed.
The option of linking the industrial north of the borough to Rainham in Essex will be included in a Transport for London public consultation to be launched next week.
The news comes as the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry released striking images of what a bridge linking Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach would look like.
Bexley’s ruling Conservatives have long been opposed to such a crossing, saying it would choke the surrounding area with traffic.
But it is thought they may back it if a bridge at Belvedere was also given the go ahead, meaning Bexley could be in line for two new crossings.
A council spokesman said: “We welcome the fact that the link at Belvedere is to be included in the consultation because we think it could create significant opportunities for local residents and businesses on both sides of the river as well as help to deliver the mayor’s plans for London’s growth.
“However, any such link would need to include measures to minimise the risk of negative impacts on the environment and traffic in the north of the borough and be mindful of the infrastructure needed for growth.
Architects HOK have designed the Gallions Reach plans.
“Some of the options – including a link at Gallions Reach – may have an adverse impact on Bexley without any of the benefits that the right kind of growth could bring.”
It is thought a Belvedere bridge would link up with Crabtree Manorway North or Anderson Way.
Bexley Labour spokesman and Belvedere councillor Sean Newman backed plans for two bridges.
He said: "The more bridges there are the less traffic there is on any one of them.
"Two bridges are fine if they both compliment each other but I’m not sure the capital is there to invest in them.
"The Belvedere bridge would need a massive infrastructure investment to sort the roads out but we’re not going to be nimbys just because it’s in a Labour ward."
LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge hailed the new Gallions Reach designs by architects HOK.
He said: "Nearly half of London’s population lives east of Tower Bridge yet they are served by only two fixed road river crossings.
"New road river crossings linking east and south east London over the Thames will bring new jobs and homes to an area of the capital that has been overlooked for too long."
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