A £1bn contract to build the Silvertown Tunnel has been signed by Transport for London, meaning work on the controversial project will begin next year.

TfL announced that it had completed the contract with the Riverlinx consortium to design, build, finance and maintain the tunnel under the River Thames.

The Silvertown Tunnel will provide a cross-Thames link between Greenwich and Newham with the aim to ease congestion for drivers and buses using the Blackwall tunnel, but the project has caused major controversy.

Campaign group Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition said London mayor Sadiq Khan had "betrayed Londoners" by signing the contract for an "outdated climate-wrecking toxic tunnel."

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TfL say the twin-bore tunnel will open in 2025, providing new cross-river bus routes in east and south London, adding that planned user charges will ensure overall traffic volumes do not increase.

The project was put on hold back in early 2018, but following a six-month public enquiry the Department for Transport granted a Development Consent Order, meaning TfL were able to provide with the contract.

The Riverlinx consortium, comprising of Aberdeen Standard Investments, BAM PPP PGGM, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK E&C, will take financial responsibility for the project.