Silvertown Tunnel

The scheme will reduce congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and improve the reliability and resilience of the wider road network. It will also allow for better transport links, with more cross-river bus journeys planned for East London.

What we're doing

Since we got permission for the tunnel in May 2018 we have worked with landowners to agree how to acquire the land needed. We're also working with local boroughs and stakeholders about construction logistics and access requirements for residents, visitors and local businesses.

How we're doing it

RiverLinx consortium won the bid to design, build, finance and maintain the Silvertown Tunnel after a competitive procurement process. The consortium is made up of Aberdeen Standard Investments, BAM PPP PGGM, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK Engineering & Construction.

The Riverlinx consortium regularly updates the local community - residents and businesses - on construction progress. This includes explaining how they are minimising the environmental impact of the work as it moves ahead.

The contract has been published as part of our commitment to transparency. See the Silvertown Tunnel project agreement.

Benefits of the scheme

The Silvertown Tunnel will connect to the A1020 Silvertown Way/Lower Lea Crossing on the north side and to the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach on the south side.

Population and traffic are expected to increase in this area of London because of major developments both underway and planned on Greenwich Peninsula and at the Royal Docks, Stratford and Barking Riverside.

The Silvertown Tunnel will offer a more reliable crossing, ensuring goods and services can continue to move around London. It will:

  • Help to reduce congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel - for example by cutting unplanned closures caused by vehicles which are too tall for the tunnel by offering a nearby alternative to the Blackwall Tunnel
  • Allow for new cross-river bus links - all of which should be running zero-emission buses from launch
  • Reduce the environmental impact of traffic congestion on some of London's most polluted roads
  • Improve journey times and make travel, deliveries and servicing more reliable
  • Improve access to new markets and new homes and keep traffic moving in east and southeast London
  • Create opportunities for new jobs in the local area
  • Open opportunities for new housing in the local area

Our short film explains why the Silvertown Tunnel scheme is needed.

Watch our 'drive through' film to see how the new tunnel would link to the existing road network.

User charges

Once the Silvertown Tunnel opens, drivers must pay a user charge for using either the Blackwall or the Silvertown Tunnel. The exact charge levels for various types of vehicles using the new tunnel will be decided closer to the opening date.

This user charge will pay for building and maintaining the tunnel - it's a legal requirement of the planning approvals and has to be in place when the tunnel opens. Any surplus will be reinvested into public transport across London.

We will only start paying the Riverlinx consortium once the tunnel is open and available for use. We will also be able to reduce payments if the tunnel doesn't meet certain standards, such as being available for traffic.

Air quality

Without the Silvertown Tunnel, congestion and air quality around the Blackwall Tunnel are predicted to get worse as London's population grows.

Our air quality modelling shows there may be a small, localised impact. We are putting in measures to make sure any increase is as small as possible. We will keep modelling and monitoring to prevent air quality getting any worse than we forecast in our Environmental Statement.

Work to update traffic forecasts and air quality impact is now underway and actively being discussed with the local authorities through the Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group (see the group's meeting papers). This is in line with commitments set out in the Development Consent Order (DCO) issued by the Department for Transport.

As part of this work, we have installed a range of new air quality monitors in the boroughs of Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lewisham.

Both tunnels and the surrounding area will also fall within the Ultra Low Emission Zone from October 2021. Vehicles need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or their drivers must pay if they drive within the zone.

Construction works

Our plan is that:

  • Most of the construction material will be transported by river
  • All on-site construction machinery will meet the Mayor's Non-Road Mobile Machinery Low Emission Zone Standards
  • Any vehicles working on the scheme will be Euro VI and comply with the Mayor's Direct Vision Standard

Construction of the scheme will follow the Silvertown Tunnel Code of Construction Practice (CoCP). On-site activities started in 2020. If you have questions about the ongoing works, email or phone 07907 978 486.

We are legally committed to a wide range of improvements and measures to reduce the impact of the new tunnel and support the wider local area.

These include:

  • £1m worth of support for local businesses to help them adapt to the user charge when the Silvertown Tunnel is operational. This could include helping businesses with staff travel planning or funding potential infrastructure such as cycle racks and electric vehicle charging points
  • Extensive monitoring, particularly around air quality, done both before and after the opening of the tunnel. Regular reports will be published online and if readings suggest impacts are worse than originally anticipated, we will review what else we can do to address them
  • A user-charging discount to specifically help low-income residents in the host boroughs of Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets. This could look similar to the existing TfL Bus & Tram Travelcard which offers a 50% discount on public transport for those who get certain state benefits. Also there could be free account registration for the road user charge for local residents in the host boroughs for the first year
  • £2m in bus concessions for local residents to help promote the new cross-river bus services which will run through the tunnel, as well as supporting them to move away from unnecessary private car use. We will also enhance river crossing facilities for cyclists and pedestrians across the local area

If you have any questions about the Silvertown Tunnel scheme (not related to construction), please email

Permission for the tunnel

We were granted the DCO in May 2018. The DCO is the formal process by which the Government gives the green light to any development categorised as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

The Secretary of State's decision letter as well as our application documents are on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Planning conditions

We have to meet certain planning conditions before we can go ahead with the development granted by the DCO.

These are set out in the Silvertown Tunnel Order 2018 under Schedule 2 Requirements.

You can view and comment on our applications to meet these requirements by searching for Silvertown Tunnel on the:


  • April 2016: We applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for the DCO
  • 2016-2017: Hearing and examination process
  • May 2018: DCO given the go ahead by the DfT
  • February-October 2018: Ground and river survey work
  • Spring 2019: Preferred contractor announced
  • November 2019: Contract awarded
  • 2020: Main construction activity began
  • 2025: Planned opening of the new tunnel

Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group

A body known as the Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group (STIG) was set up under the terms of the DCO.

STIG is a group of representatives from London's boroughs, the GLA and Highways England. We are required to consult with STIG on matter around planning and operating the scheme.

See papers from STIG meetings on the Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group page.

Document archive

We held a consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel scheme October-November 2015 and before that October-December 2014.

Supporting documents

These documents are intended to help explain the Silvertown Tunnel scheme in more detail to a non-technical audience. Our consultation booklet provides an overview of all the key elements and effects of the scheme.

The 'Guide to the consultation documents' sets out a plain English summary of the purpose, methodology and main findings of each of the technical reports.

The following documents outline our assessment of a range of alternative options for addressing the challenges at the Blackwall Tunnel and what effect the Silvertown Tunnel scheme might have on users of the River Thames.

The 'Statement of community consultation' explains other ways you can access the documents on this page, as well as how to contact us and register your views.

Main case

These reports are part of a suite of documents that support the statutory public consultation for the Silvertown Tunnel scheme. Among other issues they set out the impacts and benefits of the scheme.

Preliminary case for the scheme

Sets out how the Silvertown Tunnel scheme was developed and the main alternatives that were considered. It outlines the benefits of the scheme and how it meets its objectives.

Also includes in Appendix C our 'Preliminary monitoring and mitigation strategy'. This sets out how we would monitor traffic, air quality and noise levels.

Preliminary charging report

Outlines the user charging proposals for the Blackwall and Silvertown Tunnels and sets out TfL's reasons for proposing user charging, the proposed structure and implementation of the charge and the objectives TfL would take into account in setting the charge and varying it in the future.

Preliminary transport assessment

Details the main transport impacts of the scheme for all forms of travel and what measures would be taken to minimise any adverse impacts. It also examines road network impacts and impacts on public transport networks and walking and cycling.

Preliminary design and access statement

Sets out the outline scheme design. It demonstrates why it is a suitable response to the site and its setting, taking into account existing and future planned development and that it can be adequately and safely accessed. It also sets out the design principles which will inform the detailed design, providing examples of how the scheme may develop in the future.

Preliminary engineering report

Explains the proposed design of the scheme from an engineering perspective and sets out the assumed method of construction.

Preliminary maps, plans and drawings

Displays the physical elements of the scheme. It includes:

  • A location map
  • Plans showing the proposed works and how these tie-in to the existing highway network
  • An outline of the land required for the safe construction and operation of the scheme
  • A series of engineering cross-sections through the tunnels and tunnel approach roads

Preliminary environmental information report (PEIR)

Describes the scheme and the main alternatives considered. A non-technical summary of the PEIR is also available - it summarises the PEIR in plain English.

The PEIR sets out the environmental baseline information, provides an assessment of likely environmental effects and, where necessary, describes mitigation measures that would avoid, reduce or offset the adverse environmental effects.

PEIR technical drawings

The PEIR includes a number of technical drawings referenced in each chapter.

Drawing 4-1 Limits of land to be acquired or used (PDF 2.7MB)
Drawing 6-1a Air quality study area (PDF 7.1MB)
Drawing 6-1b Air quality study area (PDF 5.8MB)
Drawing 6-1c Air quality study area (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 6-1d Air quality study area (PDF 6.2MB)
Drawing 6-2a Base year 2012 modelled roads (PDF 7.2MB)
Drawing 6-2b Base year 2012 modelled roads (PDF 5.8MB)
Drawing 6-2c Base year 2012 modelled roads (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 6-2d Base year 2012 modelled roads (PDF 6.2MB)
Drawing 6-3a Reference case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 7.2MB)
Drawing 6-3b Reference case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 5.8MB)
Drawing 6-3c Reference case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 6-3d Reference case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 6.2MB)
Drawing 6-4a Assessed case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 7.2MB)
Drawing 6-4b Assessed case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 5.8MB)
Drawing 6-4c Assessed case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 7.5MB)
Drawing 6-4d Assessed case 2021 modelled roads (PDF 6.2MB)
Drawing 6-5e Worst case receptors (PDF 3.2MB)
Drawing 6-5f Worst case receptors (PDF 3.1MB)
Drawing 6-5g Worst case receptors (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-5i Worst case receptors (PDF 3.3MB)
Drawing 6-5j Worst case receptors (PDF 3.0MB)
Drawing 6-5n Worst case receptors (PDF 3.1MB)
Drawing 6-5o Worst case receptors (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-6b Monitoring location NO2 (PDF 2.9MB)
Drawing 6-6e Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 3.2MB)
Drawing 6-6f Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.5MB)
Drawing 6-6g Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-6i Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 3.3MB)
Drawing 6-6j Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 3.0MB)
Drawing 6-6k Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.5MB)
Drawing 6-6l Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.4MB)
Drawing 6-6n Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 3.1MB)
Drawing 6-6o Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-6p Monitoring locations NO2 (PDF 2.5MB)
Drawing 6-7a Monitoring locations PM10 and PM2.5 (PDF 7.2MB)
Drawing 6-7b Monitoring locations PM10 and PM2.5 (PDF 5.8MB)
Drawing 6-7c Monitoring locations PM10 and PM2.5 (PDF 7.5MB)
Drawing 6-7d Monitoring locations PM10 and PM2.5 (PDF 6.2MB)
Drawing 6-8e Local air quality NO2 (PDF 3.2MB)
Drawing 6-8f Local air quality NO2 (PDF3.1MB)
Drawing 6-8g Local air quality NO2 (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-8i Local air quality NO2 (PDF 3.3MB)
Drawing 6-8j Local air quality NO2 (PDF 3.0MB)
Drawing 6-8n Local air quality NO2 (PDF 3.1MB)
Drawing 6-8o Local air quality NO2 (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-9a Air quality constraints (PDF 2.8MB)
Drawing 6-9b Air quality constraints (PDF 8.6MB)
Drawing 6-9c Air quality constraints (PDF 10.3MB)
Drawing 6-9d Air quality constraints (PDF 8.3MB)
Drawing 7-1 Community and private assets (PDF 11.1MB)
Drawing 8-1 Cultural heritage constraints (PDF 5.0MB)
Drawing 9-1 Statutory sites (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 9-2 Non-statutory sites (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 9-3 Phase 1 habitat survey sheet 1 of 2 (PDF 1.6MB)
Drawing 9-3 Phase 1 habitat survey sheet 2 of 2 (PDF 1.1MB)
Drawing 9-4 Ecological impact assessment permanent and temporary loss (PDF 2.3MB)
Drawing 9-5 Mitigation map (PDF 2.0MB)
Drawing 10-1 Marine mammal sightings (PDF 7.3MB)
Drawing 14-1 Construction receptors and operational study area (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 14-2 Operational ventilation noise receptors (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 14-3 Noise monitoring locations (PDF 7.4MB)
Drawing 14-4 Noise important areas and other sensitive receptors (PDF 7.7MB)
Drawing 14-5 Road road traffic noise mitigation (PDF 418KB)
Drawing 14-6 Short term noise impacts (PDF 7.6MB)
Drawing 14-7 Long term noise impacts with scheme (PDF 7.6MB)
Drawing 14-8 Long term noise impacts without scheme (PDF 7.5MB)
Drawing 15-1 Townscape and visual considerations (PDF 2.6MB)
Drawing 15-2 Photographs: Viewpoint 1 (PDF 947KB)
Drawing 15-2 Photographs: Viewpoint 2 (PDF 871KB)
Drawing 15-2 Photographs: Viewpoint 3 (PDF 914KB)
Drawing 15-2 Photographs: Viewpoint 4 (PDF 858KB)
Drawing 16-1 Water bodies and water courses (PDF 2.9MB)
Drawing 17-1 Base case developments (PDF 13.6MB)
Drawing 17-2 Cumulative developments (PDF 7.4MB)

PEIR appendices

The PEIR also includes several appendices. These include:

  • A framework for managing and controlling possible impacts arising from the construction of the scheme
  • The means by which waste would be managed and minimised
  • The opportunities for minimising CO2 emissions during construction and operation of the tunnel

Appendix 1.A National networks national policy statement compliance (PDF 254KB)
Appendix 3.A Options summary table (PDF 266KB)
Appendix 4.A Preliminary code of construction practice (PDF 707KB)
Appendix 4.B Navigational risk assessment (PDF 3.1MB)
Appendix 4.C Preliminary maps, plans and drawings (PDF 20.6MB)
Appendix 5.A Scoping response table (PDF 868KB)
Appendix 6.A Air quality impacts - Verification (PDF 369KB)
Appendix 8.A Cultural heritage impacts - Gazetteer of heritage assets (PDF 214KB)
Appendix 8.B Cultural impacts - Geoarchaeological modelling (PDF 4.5MB)
Appendix 9.A Terrestrial ecology - Target notes and dedicated species assessments for reptiles, black redstart and bats (PDF 1.1MB)
Appendix 9.B Terrestrial ecology - Invertebrates survey report (PDF 692KB)
Appendix 9.C Terrestrial ecology - Habitat regulations assessment (PDF 772KB)
Appendix 10.A Marine ecology - Water framework directive assessment (PDF 243KB)
Appendix 11.A Effects on all travellers - Baseline existing highway network on approach to the scheme (PDF 277KB)
Appendix 11.B Effects on all travellers - Summary of predicted 2021 traffic flow percentage increases for the scheme (PDF 238KB)
Appendix 11.C Effects on all travellers - Summary of predicted 2036 traffic flow percentage increases for the scheme (PDF 245KB)
Appendix 12.A Geology and soils - Borehole location plan (PDF 3.2MB)
Appendix 13.A Site waste management plan (PDF 2.4MB)
Appendix 14.A Noise and vibration - Construction noise (PDF 26.5MB)
Appendix 14.B Noise and vibration - Noise baseline monitoring data (PDF 3.6MB)
Appendix 14.C Noise and vibration - Vibration and groundborne noise from the tunnel boring machine (PDF 1.2MB)
Appendix 14.D Noise and vibration - Ventilation noise (PDF 805KB)
Appendix 15.A Townscape & visual amenity - Tunnel approach street lighting design (PDF 1.3MB)
Appendix 16.A Water - Flood risk assessment (PDF 14.1MB)
Appendix 16.B Water - Hydrodynamics assessment (PDF 5.3MB)
Appendix 16.C Water - Flood warning and evacuation plan (PDF 438KB)
Appendix 16.D Water - River wall condition survey (PDF 7.7MB)
Appendix 17.A Cumulative effects - Base case and cumulatives project tables (PDF 247KB)

Preliminary sustainability statement

An appraisal of the scheme's sustainability credentials. It assesses the scheme using a number of methods, including TfL's Sustainability Assessment Toolkit.

Preliminary energy statement

Assesses the opportunities for minimising CO2 emissions during construction and operation of the tunnel. It considers the implementation of passive design measures, energy efficiency, and low and zero carbon technologies.

Preliminary equality impact assessment

Assesses the scheme's potential impacts on equalities groups. The assessment outlines potential mitigation measures to achieve a positive impact.

Preliminary health impact assessment

Assesses the scheme's impact on human health and wellbeing. The HIA seeks to recommend mitigation that may improve health and reduce inequalities in health.

Preliminary outline business case

Sets out the outline business case for the scheme and assesses:

  • Its strategic need and compliance with public policy
  • Its value for money
  • Whether it is commercially viable and can be financed
  • Whether TfL has the capacity and ability to deliver the scheme

We have also included a number of appendices to the outline business case. These consider:

  • The extent to which the scheme could affect specific social groups
  • The social impacts the scheme could bring about
  • The analysis undertaken for the scheme's economic case
  • An assessment of how the scheme would affect economic activity at a local, sub-regional, and London level

Background reports

These reports contain supplementary information about the Silvertown Tunnel scheme or its impacts. We have published them because they are referenced in some of the reports included in the Main case section.

Health impact assessment (HIA) scoping opinion

Sets out the matters that were identified as relevant for consideration in the HIA and a proposed scope and methodology. This was consulted on with relevant health related stakeholders and the results of this informed the development of the preliminary HIA.

Silvertown Tunnel business survey

We commissioned market research to provide updated information on the opinions of businesses on the Silvertown Tunnel scheme.

Consultation launch event

On 15 October 2014, we held an event to launch our consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel scheme. The slides we used and a short paper with some notes about the event are available here.

Outcomes of the consultation

In March 2015 we published a consultation report, setting out the range of issues raised in the consultation held at the end of 2014. In June 2015 we then published a 'Responses to issues raised' report, setting out our response to these issues.

Analysis and impacts

This section contains historical reports relating to the need for a crossing to relieve congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and resolve other issues; the options we considered for addressing these problems; the case for a new tunnel and the impacts the tunnel might have.

Assessment of needs and options

Outlines the need for a new river crossing and assesses eight potential new crossing options to identify a preferred solution

Outline business case

Sets out the evidence for investing in a new crossing to address the congestion and road network resilience issues at the Blackwall Tunnel - it considers alternative options for addressing these issues and comments on the benefits that a new tunnel, with associated user charging, would provide, and presents an economic appraisal of the proposed tunnel scheme and includes an outline of the financing and procurement strategy

Introductory assessment reports

Four reports that:

  • Consider the existing transport network and travel demand in east and south-east London, with a specific focus on demand for river crossings - assessing the impacts of the proposed tunnel on transport, including construction impacts and also presenting potential mitigating measures
  • Outline our initial assessment of the equalities impacts of the scheme
  • Outline our initial assessment of the impact of the scheme on health
  • Summarise environmental work undertaken to date as part of the environmental impact assessment process for the proposed tunnel and include an initial indication of the environmental impacts of the scheme and potential mitigation measures (includes five appendices with drawings)

Traffic forecasting report

Presents the traffic impacts of the Silvertown Tunnel, examining background traffic growth, changes in traffic and related delay and the origins of trips using river crossings, among other areas

User charging

Sets out TfL's emerging approach to user charging, setting out the reasons for charging, the anticipated effects of charging and our outline charging proposal

Historical reports

This section contains:

  • Historical reports
  • Reports that support the documents in the Main case section and outline the principle impacts of the tunnel and the case for building a new crossing
  • Documents that deal with the process of considering options for new crossings

Environmental impact assessment

Outlines the proposed methodology to be used to assess the environmental impacts of the scheme and the information that will be included within the Environmental statement - it was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for comment on 25 June 2014

Scoping opinion

Contains the scoping opinion as provided by the Secretary of State in respect of the proposed content and methodology of the Environmental statement for the Silvertown Tunnel - it was provided to TfL following submission and consideration of the Environmental impact assessment scoping report in June 2014

River crossings development study

Assesses how a number of proposed options for new river crossings (in combination with other transport and regeneration initiatives) could bring about job creation and delivery of new homes

River crossings business survey

Reports on the outcome of a survey conducted with 800 businesses in eight east London boroughs, to gauge their reaction to proposals for new river crossings

New Thames rivers crossing

Five reports that:

  • Examine the engineering feasibility of options for new river crossings in east London
  • Investigate the feasibility of a road-tunnel crossing at Silvertown
  • Explore options for providing emergency escape and pedestrian access in the tunnel
  • Set out the rationale behind the chosen highway alignment and how the route selection process accommodated the Emirates Air Line cable car
  • Summarise the findings of a sustainability appraisal to review a number of options for new river crossings for east London

Topographical survey

Outlines the outputs of a topographical survey undertaken in the vicinity of the proposed scheme

Ground investigation desk study

Three reports setting out:

  • Proposed studies for a ground investigation at Silvertown and Gallions Reach
  • Details of the ground investigation desk study into a number of potential river crossing options
  • Geotechnical considerations of a number of potential river crossings

Phase 1 - Contamination assessment

Assesses contamination risks associated with building a tunnel at Silvertown

Highway infrastructure design

Builds on previous studies to investigate the highway connections necessary between the proposed Silvertown Tunnel and the existing road network to the north and south

Tunnel engineering: Addendum A

Focuses on three potential adaptations to determine the impact of the Silvertown Tunnel scheme on costings and development on the Greenwich Peninsula

Silvertown Tunnel options study

Describes baseline environmental conditions in the vicinity of the Silvertown area and identifies risks associated with the project

Development impacts study

Outlines a study into the land-use impacts of various potential crossing options, including an assessment of the impact of each option on development capacity, value and planning risk

Tunnel options

Summarises the output of work to compare options for constructing a tunnel at Silvertown

Independent peer review group

Outlines the outcome of an independent expert scrutiny of the Silvertown Tunnel project and the decision to progress the scheme as a bored tunnel rather than immersed tube

East London river crossings

Details the need for additional river crossings for London and looks at potential options for resolving the needs identified - two reports

2012 informal consultation

Summarises the outcome of a consultation into the river crossings programme undertaken between 6 February and 5 March 2012

River crossings consultation

Summarises the outcome of a further consultation on the river crossings programme undertaken between 29 October 2012 and 1 February 2013

Base year development & validation

Sets out the key features of the 2012 base year traffic assignment model and examines calibration and validation data, trip matrix development and route choice, among other topics

  • Base year model audit

    PDF 2.80MB

  • This section includes technical engineering drawings of the proposed tunnel.