The Government has granted development consent for the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames in east London.

The twin-bore road tunnel will be privately financed with the successful delivery partner receiving payments from Transport for London once the tunnel is open.

TfL will now progress procurement with the aim of confirming a preferred bidder before the end of the year and award the contract in early 2019.

Two bidders – Cintra Global and Hochtief PPP Solutions – are left in the race following Skanska Strabag Meridiam consortium’s decision to withdraw two months ago.

Construction is now expected to begin later next year after a six-month delay awarding development consent.

The project will be financed with a toll on both the new tunnel and the existing Blackwall Tunnel.

Now TfL will work with local boroughs, landowners and stakeholders to outline the next steps for the project, including agreeing details of land acquisitions, construction logistics plans and access requirements for residents and local businesses.

Work will be carried out on the areas surrounding the entrances to the tunnel to improve conditions for local residents and create safe, attractive new walking and cycling routes around Royal Victoria and the Greenwich Peninsula.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that the green light has been given to progress with the Silvertown Tunnel.

“Since I became Mayor I’ve been determined to ensure the Silvertown Tunnel doesn’t have a detrimental impact on our environment. That’s why the new plans have such a focus on cleaner transport, with only buses with the highest emission standard using the tunnel, and substantial investment in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.”

All contractors will be required to deliver a range of measures to reduce construction impacts. These include

  • Reducing road use by construction vehicles, with more than half (at least 55 per cent) of all materials for the project carried via the river;
  • All vehicles working on the construction of the Silvertown Tunnel will be required to be Euro VI and compliant with the Mayor’s new Direct Vision Standard;
  • Developing an extensive Community Engagement Plan, describing how it will keep the local community informed prior to and throughout the works;
  • Creating around 150 local apprenticeships, job starts and educational opportunities.

Source: Construction Enquirer

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