Now Gar­den Bridge is dead, let’s bring back Gal­lions Reach idea

Mayor urges Sadiq to think again on road link

The Wharf - - Front Page - Giles Broad­bent

The Mayor of Ne­wham has used the col­lapse of the Gar­den Bridge project to re­new his call for a road bridge at Gal­lions Reach.

Sir Robin Wales wel­comed the de­ci­sion by Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan to with­draw fund­ing guar­an­tees for the con­tro­ver­sial cen­tral Lon­don link. Fol­low­ing his de­ci­sion, and a damn­ing independent re­view, the Gar­den Bridge Trust wound up the oper­a­tion.

How­ever, the need for bet­ter cross-river links in the east of the cap­i­tal re­mains firmly on Mr Khan’s agenda. In his draft trans­port strat­egy, he backed a new link at Sil­ver­town, a Ca­nary Wharf cy­cle bridge and a DLR cross­ing at Gal­lions Reach.

Sir Robin wants the mayor to go fur­ther, adding a high­way cross­ing that would link the Royal Docks to Wool­wich and Thames­mead. The idea has been raised many times – and killed off by suc­ces­sive may­ors, with Mr Khan push­ing for an agenda that in­creases pub­lic trans­port us­age and cuts down on cars.

On the Gar­den Bridge de­ci­sion, Sir Robin said: “Sadiq Khan was right to pull sup­port for the Gar­den Bridge be­cause it has been an un­wel­come dis­trac­tion from the more press­ing need for in­vest­ment in ad­di­tional river cross­ings east of Tower Bridge.

“It is ab­surd that £50mil­lion has been wasted by this Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment on a van­ity project in a part of Lon­don which al­ready has a roar­ing busi­ness and tourist trade.

“Large em­ploy­ers and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors have made their in­ten­tions clear that they want to move to east Lon­don to take ad­van­tage of the cheaper real es­tate and the bur­geon­ing tourist trade aris­ing around Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park.

“TfL has strong and clear ev­i­dence that a road cross­ing at Gal­lions Reach is the best op­tion for tack­ling con­ges­tion and sup­port­ing the cur­rent and fu­ture econ­omy in this part of Lon­don.

“Now the Gar­den Bridge is out of the way, plans for ad­di­tional river cross­ings in east Lon­don must be pri­ori­tised”

The draft trans­port strat­egy says a high­way link won’t be con­sid­ered un­til at least 2030.

Artist’s im­pres­sion

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