Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the Riverlinx consortium, which consists of Aberdeen Standard Investments, BAM PPP PGGM, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK Engineering & Construction (SK E & C), is the preferred bidder for the construction of the Silvertown tunnels was nominated. a new river crossing under the River Thames in East London.
The new tunnel is scheduled to open in 2025 and connect the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. This eliminates the serious traffic jams and reduces the environmental impact of miles of traffic around the Blackwall Tunnel. It will remove barriers for people in East London who need to cross the river for work or leisure, and improve the reliability and resilience of the road network for residents, commuters and businesses. The Blackwall Tunnel is the least reliable crossing of London and closed more than 700 times in 2017/18. The lack of alternative crossings east of Tower Bridge has led to an almost permanent congestion, and the access roads have some of the highest levels of air pollution in the British capital.
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By effectively removing congestion, the new tunnel will improve overall air quality. A toll or a toll for both the new tunnel and the existing Blackwall Tunnel will ensure that the total traffic volume and associated CO2 emissions do not increase. At sites where TfL's air quality modeling has shown that local effects can be low, further measures will be taken to ensure that increases are kept to a minimum. Both the tunnels and the surrounding area will fall into the extended ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) zone, which will contribute more to improving air quality throughout London prior to the opening of the new tunnel in 2025. Transport links to rivers with approximately 37 buses per hour in each direction.
The £ 1bn project ($ 1.26bn) is being procured through a design, construction, finance and maintenance contract, meaning that the financial risk for construction and initial maintenance is private sector and not included TfL. Over the summer, the consortium will work to confirm the financial arrangements and set up the supply chain. Once these have been agreed, TfL will place the order for the project. The construction and maintenance costs are covered by a usage fee for the new tunnel and the existing Blackwall Tunnel. This also helps to control traffic demand and the reliability of the journey and ensures that the expected improvement in air quality is achieved. The exact charges for different types of vehicles using the tunnel will be set closer to the opening date.
"The need for more river crossings in East London to enable growth and provide better access to jobs and services for residents and businesses has been clear for decades," noted Alex Williams, director of urban planning at TfL. "The Silvertown Tunnel, which is critical to supporting the London economy, has been designed to address the existing bottleneck problem in the Blackwall area, improve overall air quality, and enable the introduction of new cross-river bus services."