London mayor tells Thames Gateway Forum he is looking at new crossings linking Kent and Essex

London mayor Boris Johnson this morning announced that he was actively considering new river crossings over the Thames east of London Bridge, in a speech to the Thames Gateway Forum.

Mayor Johnson scrapped plans for the £450m Thames Gateway Bridge when he was first elected in 2008, but has since said he is willing to consider alternative proposals.

This morning he told the forum: “We are looking at bringing forward a series of river crossings in the next few years, east of London Bridge. It’s high time we had more crossings in this area.”

The government is also considering a bridge linking Kent and Essex further east from the current Dartford crossing. Johnson did not say how the crossings could be funded.

Johnson also said he was working with the government on setting up a new Thames Gateway Strategic Group to oversee development in the area.

This will replace the existing Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership and will have fewer members, consisting of Johnson, Thames Gateway minister Bob Neill, the leaders of Kent and Essex, and business representatives.

Neill is thought to be outlining more details of how the body will work to guide the regeneration of the Gateway at the forum this afternoon.