TfL gives £1bn Silvertown tunnel scheme the green light

silvertown tunnel project, transport for london

Transport for London (TfL) has reached financial close on the Silvertown tunnel project with the RiverLinx consortium, to design, build, finance and maintain the £1bn tunnel connecting Royal Docks and Greenwich

The signing of the Silvertown tunnel contract will now allow the consortium’s construction team of BAM Nuttall including sister company Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau, Ferrovial Agroman and SK E&C to progress with appointing the local sub-contractors and suppliers who will support the project.

This will help deliver a vital piece of infrastructure to prepare for London’s future population growth and relieve chronic congestion and poor air quality around the Blackwall tunnel.

What is the Silvertown tunnel project?

Silvertown will be the UK’s first major road tunnel to include a dedicated bus line in both directions. This hopes to improve cross-river public transport connections, with around 37 buses an hour during peak periods in each direction using the tunnel, including the current six single-decker buses per hour which run through the Blackwall tunnel.

It is thought that cross-river trips via public transport in this area will rise from 10% to 30%. These buses are all expected to be zero-emission vehicles and will support the growing demand for bus transport across Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Over the past 30 years, East London, both north and south of the river, has seen significant population growth without major investment in the area’s road infrastructure. The local population is expected to increase further, increasing pressure on the 122-year-old Blackwall tunnel.

The new tunnel will provide more resilient transport links north and south of the river, it will reduce the amount of stop-start traffic as well as cut emissions from idling traffic. TfL estimates that the relief of the congestion at Blackwall and beyond should lead to journey time savings.

Silvertown tunnel project – key points:

  • RiverLinx consortium signs contract with Transport for London on the Silvertown Tunnel, the first major road investment in this part of London in 30 years.
  • The signing of contracts will allow RiverLinx to appoint sub-contractors and suppliers to support the delivery of the project, and begin the process of obtaining local stakeholder, government and environmental consents for this project.
  • The project is the UK’s first road tunnel to have dedicated bus lanes, and from day one passenger will be able to cross the river on one of around 37 buses an hour during peak periods. This is a significant upgrade to public transport in the area.
  • When it opens in 2025, the tunnel will support future population growth in this part of London – and minimise the growing delays through the 122-year-old Blackwall Tunnel.


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