A Bridge Too Far
9 December 2015, Blog
TfL has set out new plans for 13 river crossings in London in their new report, ‘Connecting the Capital’ in response to population growth expected by 2030. You’d be forgiven for thinking this means that 13 new bridges and tunnels are to be built along the Thames, or that there were plans in the pipeline to see these projects to fruition.
Firstly, what will these crossings be? Some will be tunnels or bridges, but TfL has also included new ferry services for pedestrians and cyclists in the report. In fact, one of the new crossings is just an additional stop on an existing ferry service.
Secondly, how many of these projects will see fruition? Projects need two things; planning permission and funding. Of the 13 crossings only two have both, the Abbey Wood branch of Crossrail 1, and the highly controversial partly TfL-funded Garden Bridge. The rest have partially one or the other, and many are still just concepts.
While Connecting the Capital may not represent the exact blueprint lauded in the capital’s news outlets for future Thames crossings, it does show that the Mayor’s office and TfL are anticipating the infrastructure needs of the future, and are prepared to start debate and consultation far in advance.