AS speculation mounts that the Thames Gateway Bridge could be brought back from the dead, Bexley Council claim it would be a link "to the longest queue of traffic in London".

Figures released last week from a Transport for London (TfL) consultation showed 71 per cent of 6,409 respondents backed the controversial Thamesmead crossing, which was axed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson when he came to power.

The results sparked speculation that a u-turn could see a tunnel or bridge from Thamesmead to Beckton built after 2021.

But Bexley Council claims the lack of overall consultation replies - a 2 per cent response rate - showed it was not necessarily a true reflection of public opinion, while the 1,000 Bexley people who responded may have been under the impression that the bridge idea was long dead.

A spokesman said: "We remain vehemently opposed to a fixed crossing at Gallions. The physical features of the area will clearly not support the amount of traffic such a crossing will attract. The main routes to it from the A2, A20 and the south of the borough would be Knee Hill, Brampton Road and Long Lane.

"These roads are a single lane in both directions and any extra traffic would cause total gridlock to the whole area – leading to thousands of Bexley residents’ lives being ruined, to say nothing  of  businesses trying to operate in the borough.

"Our job is to protect the interests of local people and to look after our environment. That is why we remain totally opposed to such a proposal. It would simply be a bridge to the longest queue of traffic in London."

But Labour's Councillor Seán Newman, whose group backs a crossing, said concerns about lorries going up Knee Hill could be eased with initiatives like axel and width restrictions.

He said: "This shows the debate has moved on and people aren't buying the scare politics being put out by the Tories at Bexley Council.

"Public opinion has moved on from a decade ago.

"This is about local people and local businesses being able to reach the other side of the river without having to go all the way to Blackwall.

"Currently, something that should only take minutes takes hours."

Consultation figures also showed people were generally unwilling to pay tolls to fund the crossing, while a new ferry at Gallions Reach to replace the Woolwich service was backed by 51 per cent of those who responded.

TfL's managing director of planning Michele Dix said: "The proposed additional road infrastructure is vital.

"Apart from the opening of the QEII Bridge at Dartford there has been no increase in the capacity of the highway network across the river in east London for nearly 50 years."

Visit the TfL website for more details.

How Bexley responded

1,053 respondents were from Bexley - 16 per cent of the total. Of these:

27 per cent crossed the river by road four or more days per week.

76 per cent supported a tunnel from Greenwich peninsula to Silvertown.

55 per cent supported a new ferry at Gallions Reach.

57 per cent backed a fixed link crossing instead of a ferry at Gallions Reach.

23 per cent supported tolls at the new crossings and Blackwall Tunnel.