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Have your say on a possible new cross-river bus network in East London

Transport for London (TfL) is proposing to introduce a new cross-river bus network as part of the opening of the Silvertown Tunnel in 2025. The new network, which will involve adding new routes and extending and changing current ones, will make it easier to travel across the Thames by connecting people north and south of the river.

It will provide access to jobs, education and leisure opportunities to support regeneration in South and East London and encourage more trips to be made by public transport.

How will this impact you, particularly if you have a disability or health condition and live in London or visit regularly? Will it affect your current journeys? Will you need to change your route? Will the new cross-river bus network be more or less accessible for you? Read on to find out how you can make your voice heard. 


Take TfL’s survey on the new London cross-river bus network to give your views by 11th January 2023. There are also accessible versions of the survey.


We are proposing to extend, add and change bus routes along East London, north and south of the River Thames. These proposals include:

  • A new high-frequency, limited-stop service between Grove Park and Canary Wharf, referred to here as route X239.
  • To extend route 129 (Lewisham – North Greenwich) north across the river to Great Eastern Quay via the Royal Docks development zone.
  • A minor change to route 108 so that it uses the new Millennium Way slip road to exit the Blackwall Tunnel southbound.
  • We are also seeking your views on route options for three sections of routes 129 and X239.

The purpose of the consultation is to connect people north and south of the river in East London and massively improve the bus network in that area.

The scheme also aims to reduce congestion through the Blackwall Tunnel for those who travel by bus and speed up journey times across the river.

From our Equality Impact Assessments (EQIA), we know that the scheme is expected to have a positive impact on everyone as it will create new direct travel opportunities by bus and reduce waiting times.

An estimated 20,000 people with disabilities live within 400m of the cross-river network.

For anyone who relies on our bus network, particularly if you have a disability or health condition and a set accessible route you need to take, we want to hear how this will impact you.

You have until 11th January 2023 to have your say on our suggested Silvertown Tunnel bus network. We’ve created maps of the proposed routes and proposed route section options.

A woman with red hair wearing a black top and blue jeans using a stick-getting off a bus in London using a ramp

The Silvertown Tunnel Bus network – what we’re proposing

We are looking at three bus routes in total – existing routes 108 and 129 and a proposed new route X239. In addition, we are also seeking your views on three options for specific sections of routes 129 and X239.

1. Introducing a new route – X239

Referred to in this consultation as route X239, it will operate between Grove Park and Canary Wharf (Westferry Circus).

The route would be non-stop between Sun-in-the-Sands roundabout and Leamouth roundabout to improve journey times.

The route would be every eight minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 15 minutes at weekends and all evenings. View this map of new routes to see the proposed route.

  • Options for how new route X239 accesses Blackwall way. One option is for route X239 to go directly from the Lower Lea Crossing into Blackwall Way for the quickest journey time or be routed to go via Orchard Place to serve the Leamouth peninsula developments. View this map to see each route option.
  • Options for how the new route X239 accesses Wood Wharf from Blackwall Way. Route X239 could access Wood Wharf via Baffin Way in both directions requiring highway changes or instead go via Yabsley Street when travelling southbound (towards Grove Park), which does not require as significant highway changes. View this map to see each route option.

2. Extending route 129 north across the river into the Royal Docks

This route currently operates from Lewisham to North Greenwich and the proposal is to extend it through the Silvertown Tunnel to terminate at Great Eastern Quay.

The route would directly connect Lewisham, Greenwich, North Greenwich, London City Airport and Beckton using Silvertown Tunnel. In addition, frequencies would be increased on each day of the week.

  • Options for how the extended route 129 accesses the Royal Docks. The 129 could access the Royal Docks via Tidal Basin Road to serve Royal Victoria or via Dock Road to serve the future Thameside West development. View this map of route 129 to see each route option.

3. Rerouting the 108 bus

We’re looking to slightly reroute bus 108 so that it uses the new Millennium Way slip road when exiting the Blackwall Tunnel in the southbound direction, speeding up the journey to North Greenwich Station.

This would mean Stop MW (Boord Street) would no longer be served by route 108 in the southbound direction. View this map of route 108 to see the proposed amended route.

Our proposals relate to the initial bus network through Silvertown Tunnel when it opens in 2025. We would expect the network to evolve and grow over time.

It is also our expectation to make all buses using both Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels zero emission.

You can read about how we developed these proposals in our Silvertown Buses Supporting Document. Additionally, we have provided a Frequently Asked Questions section.

A computer generated image of what the entrance to the Silvertown Tunnel will look like, with red London buses travelling through it


Have your say
Online survey – www.tfl.gov.uk/silvertown-bus-network-survey
Email – haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk
Post – FREEPOST TfL Have your Say
Read on for more details on how to have your say, including easy-read versions, BSL videos and translations.


The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2018, the Secretary of State gave permission for the Silvertown Tunnel to be built, linking the Greenwich Peninsula, located south of the river, with Silvertown, located north of the river.

Construction of the tunnel is now underway, with the tunnel expected to open in 2025. You can read about the progress of the tunnel on our Silvertown Tunnel project page or by visiting the Riverlinx website.

The tunnel provides the opportunity to improve cross-river public transport.

As part of gaining consent for the tunnel, we committed to providing at least 20 buses per hour in each direction at peak times through both the Silvertown Tunnel and Blackwall Tunnel combined. Our proposals meet this.

However, it is recognised that as travel patterns develop over time the bus network will also need to adapt as time passes and people’s travel patterns adapt to the tunnel’s opening.

How to have your say on the new Silvertown bus network

Our consultation is now open and we would like to hear your views. The consultation will run until 11th January 2023 for you to have your say.

We would like you to tell us how our proposals may impact you, particularly if you have a disability or health condition. Your views are important to us and will help us with our decision-making.

Your views can really make a difference – take a look at these examples to see how disabled people’s voices have changed the outcome of our consultations before.

You can respond to the consultation by completing our online survey. To do this, you will need to register with your email address. Your details will be kept secure and only used with your permission.

Please note, if you have an existing account registered with TfL for other services, such as for Oyster card management, you will still have to register a Have your Say account to complete the online survey.

We also want this consultation to be accessible to everyone, so we have created:

If you prefer, you can email your comments to haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk or write to us at FREEPOST TFL HAVE YOUR SAY (Silvertown Buses).

You can also phone our consultation helpline on 020 3054 6037 and leave your name, number and message and someone from the consultation team will call you back.

You can complete an Easy Read survey or downloadable copy of the consultation survey and email or post it to us via FREEPOST TFL HAVE YOUR SAY (no stamp required).

If you require translations, you can read our proposals in Bengali, Nepali and Polish or email haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk to request other translations. You can also translate the materials and survey by using the button at the bottom of our Silvertown Tunnel bus network page.

You can also ask us questions throughout the consultation, using the ‘Questions’ tool on our Silvertown page.

By Transport for London

Main image at the top ©Lunamarina via Canva.com

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