The London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has launched a campaign to get a new bridge constructed across the River Thames to the east of London.

There have been discussions for a number of years about getting a new bridge crossing the river in the east of the capital however the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry is the first organisation to launch a serious campaign to get what it’s calling Bridge London East progressed.

Bridge East London will connect Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach and is aimed at increasing investment in the poorer parts of east and southeast London with the campaign pointing out that the 15 miles of riverbank between the Blackwell Tunnel (the Thames most easterly crossing) and the Dartford Crossing (the first crossing to the east outside London) are home to some of greater London’s most deprived communities.

With London’s growth expected to increase by 1.5 million people in the next 20 years and it’s anticipated that much of that growth will take place in the east of London. If the growth in the East is going to be sustainable it’s essential that infrastructure is put in place which will link the communities together creating viable communities that aren’t simply commuter retreats from the sprawl of London.

The plans for the Bridge East London project have been drawn up by engineering consultant Arup and architecture firm HOK.
The proposed structure allows for the passage of ships and takes into account aircraft using London City Airpot.

LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge said: “Nearly half of London’s population lives east of Tower Bridge yet they are served by only two fixed road river crossings. It is an area with huge amounts of potential and while the Olympics acted as a crucible for creativity and dynamism in the area, its future growth is being held back by this gap in transport infrastructure.

“We know that the Mayor shares our enthusiasm for helping the east of the capital to maximise its exciting reinvention. The area is currently attracting the worlds brightest and best whether to the financial heartland of Canary Wharf, the Royal Docks development or the high-tech firms flocking to Silicon Roundabout in Shoreditch.

“New road river crossings linking east and south east London over the Thames will bring new jobs and homes to an area of the capital that has been overlooked for too long.”

Being born in South East of London, OBAS CEO Norman Tenray has strong connections with the area commenting: “This is a excellent example of the kind of positive role the chamber takes in the advancement of our economy and communities.

“I remember sailing at Greenland Docks in my childhood and I know how much the east of London needs this kind of investment. I often recall a scene from Only Fools and Horses in which Albert sits dockside feeling nostalgic for bygone times, questioning where all the commerce has gone. All of us want to go back to our roots, but generally, it’s the places which are unchanged that have been left behind. New developments based on residential and commercial units, backed with well planned infrastructure, represent the only way those places we remember fondly, will continue to grow and develop.


“Areas such as Islington demonstrate that property prices attract people and businesses, whilst opening up the hearts and minds of people in the community, to what can be achieved and that’s why we need these kinds of catalysts for growth and development.


“London’s infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the demands placed on it already. With the city’s population expected to balloon in the coming years, it’s more important than ever that communities drive the interconnectivity required to make a modern city work and this bridge will no doubt satisfy a much needed link in east London, allowing east Londoners to maximise their potential, to the benefit of the whole of Greater London.”


The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) plan to replace the Woolwich Ferry at the end of its working life later this decade with a new ferry further down the River Thames. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) believes that another ferry will not provide the capacity or reliability needed to deliver the homes, jobs and business opportunities for our growing city needs. The bridge would create a relatively large number of jobs for the construction industry in the South East, outside the main construction areas in the centre of London.


If you agree with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry please sign their petition to the Mayor of London.