South East London travel update

In this column and in answers to the London Assembly, Mayor Johnson has given the strongest indication yet that the East London Line extension from New Cross to Clapham Junction will get his support:

Valerie Shawcross: If the government does not fill your £15m funding gap will you drop plans for phase 2b of the East London Line Extension to Peckham, Camberwell and Clapham or will you find this sum from within your budget - perhaps from the £19m you have "saved" by dropping plans for a Tram service to Peckham, Camberwell and Brixton?

Boris: I recently discussed the need to fill the funding gap with the Secretary of State and am awaiting his formal response. TfL's current business plan is fully committed but I would continue to explore ways of funding this important link should the DfT not support us.

(Thanks to Pete for the quotes)

Progress on the first phase of the East London Line extension appears to be relatively steady and the DLR extension to Woolwich Arsenal is expected to be completed ahead of schedule, with London Reconnections predicting its opening this month:

At the new Woolwich Arsenal interchange station, the final cleaning and ‘snagging’ is underway. The opening of the extension is planned for 10 January 2009, more than a month in advance of the contracted date of 28 February.

Meanwhile, a slightly confused Evening Standard editorial recently welcomed the news that Mayor Johnson is considering a new river crossing between Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown. The paper couldn't make up its mind whether it was a bridge or a tunnel they were in favour of, but we can help them with that one - a bridge in that area would be almost impossible and hugely destructive of the masterplan for the area, which is gradually coming to fruition. So we are left with a tunnel. Which is no use for pedestrians, cyclists or the DLR and only suits cars (unlike the Thames Gateway bridge, which would have been mixed-mode). Additionally, its location next to the Blackwall Tunnel would result in all traffic being forced in to the same bottle neck on the south side, as opposed to the Gateway Bridge, which would have provided an entirely new crossing point.

Considering this alternative, those who opposed the Thames Gateway Bridge on environmental grounds might now feel like supporting Greenwich and Newham Councils' bid to get the project back on track.


853blog said...

As far as I'm aware, there's a stretch of safeguarded land for a bridge - from John Harrison Way out towards the Thames - despite it being an utterly mental idea.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks 853, very interesting. I wasn't aware of the safeguarded land, but it would still mean sticking a(nother) motorway sized road through what is supposed to be a mixed use commercial and residential site.

853blog said...

And it'd also eventually mean more traffic on the Blackwall Tunnel approach - just to keep those pollution levels up on the peninsula.

There's another barking scheme, which hasn't attracted much attention, to move John Roan School from Blackheath to the peninsula, just so young minds can enjoy all that fresh air.

Brockley Nick said...

There's a link to the save John Roan School campaign here.

The lower building of Roan is an absolute disaster and has been since the day it opened. But I agree that uprooting it would be highly problematic. The other issue they've had is that they grew their intake in expectation of moving to a new site (which originally was going to be at the old Greenwich Hospital site I think?) and with no new building they are fit to burst.

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