East Thames River Crossings

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 18th November 1994.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South 2:49 pm, 18th November 1994

I support my hon. Friends the Members for Woolwich (Mr. Austin-Walker) and for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford), who represent the south bank in east London whereas I represent north Woolwich, or the north bank. I am glad to see that my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Timms) is here, too. My hon. Friends have made clear their views on the Blackwall crossing and stated what nonsense it would be not to have the Cutty Sark station on the docklands light railway. The Woolwich crossing, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich referred, should have a high priority. It would extend the north London link from Richmond and Willesden junction—and perhaps by even more ambitious routes—across the Thames to north Kent, Dartford and even further.

There is no great support for the construction of a road for the east London river crossing, but there is support for another extension of the docklands light railway, even by tunnel, across to Thamesmead. Such a proposal would be in keeping with the Government's change from road to rail and would be wholly in line with the royal commission's recent report.

I endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich said about the river. Should there be a practical proposal for developing the river as part of London's overall transport system, I hope that the Government will give it as much support as they have given to road planning and construction.