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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Review ordered into Thames bridge
TfL's image of the Thames Gateway Bridge
The bridge would link Greenwich and Newham in east London
Plans to build a new crossing over the Thames are to be considered in a second public inquiry.

The Government said the first inquiry into the Thames Gateway Bridge failed to provide adequate information about the impact of traffic and regeneration.

Linking Newham and Greenwich, in east London, the 385m bridge is part of plans to regenerate a 40-mile-wide area of land in London, Essex and Kent.

The London Green Party, who say it will increase pollution, welcomed the move.

Increase congestion

Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: "This is good news for the environment and for the people of east London.

"We have evidence from experts that if the bridge does go ahead it will increase traffic congestion in east London and add to pollution."

After the first public inquiry, which ended in May 2006, government inspector Michael Ellison recommended that the scheme be turned down.

The re-opening of the public inquiry will delay bringing the benefits of the Thames Gateway Bridge to an area that sorely needs them
Ken Livingstone, London Mayor

His report noted that there was insufficient information in two areas; the impact of traffic and benefits that the regeneration of the area would bring.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears, ruled the inquiry be reopened "to ensure the full and proper consideration of submissions put forward after the close of the inquiry" and other information she considered was necessary in order to determine the proposal.

Overdue link

But London's mayor Ken Livingstone said the decision dealt a blow to deprived areas of London.

He said: "The re-opening of the public inquiry will delay bringing the benefits of the Thames Gateway Bridge to an area that sorely needs them. "It is vital to the sustainable development of east London and I remain committed to building it."

Transport for London (TfL), which has backed the scheme, said the bridge would provide an "essential and overdue transport link" for the area.

"We strongly believe this transport link remains a vital and integral part of the regeneration of the east London corridor."


SEE ALSO
Backing for 385m Thames bridge
25 Mar 04 |  London
New cash for Thames bridge
09 Jan 04 |  London

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