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TfL and Bexley Council want to build new tolled road bridges across the Thames at Gallions Reach and Belvedere.
These won’t be cozy little bridges for local traffic: The Belvedere crossing will be 4 lanes and more akin to an urban motorway, and the Gallions Reach crossing may well – depending on which option TfL chooses – be much the same.
Both crossings will be linked into trunk roads – by large roundabouts or motorway-style junctions – in such a way that long distance traffic from Kent – including HGVs – will certainly be encouraged to pass through Bexley, Belvedere and Thamesmead to cross the Thames. On the other hand, what local traffic does use the bridges simply add to congestion on many local roads within Belvedere and Bexleyheath. There are no proposals for how these local roads will accommodate this extra traffic.
Bexley Council was pretty much against such bridges until relatively recently, but now sees them as an integral part of its ‘visionary’ concrete and tarmac-led ‘Growth’ agenda.