Transport for London is letting residents, businesses and councils down with its latest plans for a controversial road tunnel between the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks, we’re telling the press today.
The No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign says Londoners should reject TfL’s proposal to add a third tunnel alongside the existing Blackwall crossings, flooding roads with more HGVs and generating extra traffic and pollution.
Londoners can reject the proposals in a formal consultation that begins today.
Mayor Boris Johnson has said he wants to see the tunnel built – at a cost of £1bn, to be financed using PFI contracts – but whoever succeeds him can cancel the scheme upon taking office next May.
TfL claims tolling both Blackwall and Silvertown Tunnels will result in no overall extra traffic – yet its modelling has shown increased traffic levels on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach and on other roads in east and south-east London.
Moreover, tolling has not stopped the Dartford Crossing from being a magnet for congestion. Time and again evidence has shown that when a new road is built, new journeys are generated and the result is higher levels of traffic overall.
The Silvertown Tunnel is also designed to provide a new route for HGVs, bringing more polluting lorries onto the streets of inner London. Full environmental assessments have not been carried out, despite widespread worries that the tunnel will increase pollution.
“It’s time to put this toxic tunnel out of its misery,” No to Silvertown Tunnel co-founder Darryl Chamberlain says.
“The Silvertown Tunnel is doomed to fail. It’ll increase traffic across a great swathe of London, it won’t cut pollution, and it’ll worsen traffic jams both north and south of the river – particularly around Canary Wharf and heading south along the A102.
“Londoners should kill this tunnel off by saying no in this new consultation.”
Councils have been played for fools by TfL
Hackney Council passed a motion against the tunnel in July while Lewisham and Southwark Councils have deep worries about the scheme and its effects on their local roads. Hackney North MP and shadow cabinet minister Diane Abbott has also spoken out against the tunnel.
Even Newham’s elected mayor Sir Robin Wales, who backs the crossing, acknowledges it will increase congestion.
Meanwhile, conditions placed on the scheme by Greenwich Council – such as demanding extensions of the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground to Eltham and Abbey Wood – have failed to materialise.
“We know all too well how difficult it is to cross the river. But building a new road will only make the situation worse, harming not just the environment but also the local economy,” No to Silvertown Tunnel chair Nikki Coates says.
“It’ll concentrate even more traffic and pollution around Canary Wharf and the Blackwall approaches – particularly in the evening – and generate extra jams elsewhere as other drivers avoid tolls by switching to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.
“The boroughs have been played for fools by TfL – they should join us in rejecting this dangerous scheme, and call for the money to be spent on public transport instead.”
How do I say no to the Silvertown Tunnel?
Quite simply, you should respond to the public consultation and say NO to the Silvertown Tunnel, and explain why you think it’s unacceptable.
The full consultation documents are huge – we’ll be studying them over the coming weeks and we’ll be offering a more detailed opinion on what’s on offer soon.
But in short, we believe the tunnel will make our traffic and pollution problems worse:
– It’ll increase traffic in the wider area around east and south-east London, and fail to relieve congestion at Blackwall Tunnel and on its approaches, particularly heading southbound.
– More traffic will lead to extra pollution across areas of east and south-east London.
– We also think TfL isn’t looking at alternative ideas for river crossings. You may have your own ideas, but we’d like to highlight two non-road possibilities – extending the London Overground from Barking to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood, and a walking/cycling link between Canary Wharf and Greenwich Peninsula.
The other important things you can do are:
– Tell your friends and family to respond to this consultation – and say no.
– Tell your local representatives you’re saying no and ask them what they’ve been doing. Are your councillors, MPs or London Assembly members doing anything to stop the toxic tunnel? If not, why not? Use writetothem.com to get in touch.
– Tell London’s mayoral candidates, who can cancel the Silvertown Tunnel next year: Sian Berry (Green), Zac Goldsmith (Conservative), Sadiq Khan (Labour), Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem), Peter Whittle (Ukip).
We’re also looking for people who can distribute leaflets in their areas. If you can help us, drop us an email on info[at]silvertowntunnel.co.uk.