London could see 13 new crossings across the River Thames including tunnels and bridges, according to the city's mayor Boris Johnson.
The new infrastructure, which will increase the total number of river crossings between Imperial Wharf and Dartford by more than a third, has been proposed by the mayor as part of his vision for the future of the Capital.
The plans, which will cater to both public transport and road users including cyclists, are detailed in a new report called Connecting the Capital.
The new works are seen as vital in order to help London cope with its rapidly increasing population, which is due to rise from 8.6m now to 10m by 2030.
“Building a series of new bridges and tunnels across the Thames is essential for the future prosperity of our rapidly-growing city,” Johnson said.
“By creating more links between the north and south of the river, we won’t just improve day-to-day travelling across the Capital, we’ll unlock areas for development and create thousands of jobs and homes.
“From Fulham in the west to Dartford in the east, this is a vital package of crossings that will drive economic growth and get more people walking, cycling and on to public transport.”
Subject to funding, the new crossings will be built across London between now and 2050, although Transport for London (TfL) has not revealed how much it expects the projects to cost.
The majority will be constructed in east London, where population growth will be highest – with over one-third of London’s total population growth expected in the area.
The east is also in most need of additional crossing as existing cross-river connections are limited, with just three road crossings in the 23km between Tower Bridge and the M25 and only one bus route that crosses the river.
Richard de Cani, managing director for planning at TfL, said: “With the Capital’s population rising rapidly and more much-needed housing being built, crossing the river will become ever-more important.
“New cross-river connections can unlock opportunities for local people and help transform an area, supporting regeneration and development. We must progress plans for this package of crossings if we are to support London's growth and galvanise the economic potential it presents.”
TfL added that it had not yet decided on whether the crossings should be bridges or tunnels and further assessment about the financial, environmental and visual impacts of both need to be considered before a decision can be made