Boris scraps Gateway Bridge plans

An artist's impression of the Thames Gateway Bridge

Boris Johnson said the weight of public opinion against the bridge plan meant he had no option but to scrap it BE5749

First published in News by

LONDON'S new Mayor has announced he is scrapping the current plans for the Thames Gateway Bridge.

At his first mayoral question time, Boris Johnson said the current plan for a six-lane bridge between Thamesmead and Beckton was not the right one and he could not support it against such significant local opposition.

A public inquiry into the bridge plans, which sat for 889 days from June 2005 until May 2006, was due to reopen this year after Transport for London had finished revising its traffic forecasts.

The news was treated with some caution by anti-bridge campaigner Jacqui Wise from protest group Action Group Against the Bridge.

Mrs Wise, of Berkeley Avenue, Bexleyheath said: "The announcement looks very promising."

She said she was still waiting for final confirmation the inquiry will not now be reopened.

But she said she had concerns there was some talk any replacement bridge would still carry cars, as well as an expanded provision for public transport.

Mrs Wise said if this was the case, there would still be opposition to it.

She said she had also heard rumours any new bridge would be built in a different location.

Mrs Wise said the situation was still ambiguous. She added: "I am waiting for the formal announcement first."

But Bexley Council said it was delighted by the announcement.

Council cabinet member for transport, Councillor Peter Craske said: "I am delighted the Mayor of London listened to and acted on the concerns of our residents."

He said Bexley desperately needed better public transport options and was looking forward to some genuine transport improvements over the coming months.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: "The Mayor acknowledges there is an obvious lack of crossings east of Tower Bridge when compared to those to the west. He has asked Transport for London to consider alternative ways to resolve these."

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