The final public consultation into Transport for London’s Silvertown Tunnel proposals is over. But it’s not too late to do your bit to stop the £1bn toxic tunnel – because London’s next mayor can axe the project in 2016.
We were delighted with the response to our campaign against a new road which is likely to increase congestion and pollution in neighbourhoods on both sides of the river. We’re grateful to everybody who took the opportunity to speak out – and to those who told us how useful they found our suggested response.
And we’d especially like to thank our brilliant volunteers who helped us deliver 10,000 leaflets to homes on both sides of the river – many to people who’d never heard about TfL’s scheme before.
More than 100 people came to our public meeting at the Forum in Greenwich last month. We’ve found that the more people find out about the Silvertown Tunnel, the more they don’t want it.
What happens next?
We expect TfL will announce it is going ahead with the tunnel in early 2016 (probably around February) – essentially so mayor Boris Johnson can have it signed off before he leaves office.
It’s expected to apply for planning permission in the spring, with TfL hoping a final decision will be taken by the Secretary of State for Transport in the summer of 2017.
But this timetable isn’t set in stone. And the new mayor can change all this by scrapping the scheme as soon as he or she is elected. So May’s City Hall elections are vitally important.
Conservative Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Sadiq Khan are yet to say what they’ll do. Both are well aware of the problems with the tunnel scheme. But we don’t yet know what their thoughts are.
What can I do?
If you get canvassed by any of the parties – tell them you oppose the Silvertown Tunnel. And ask your MP, assembly member and councillor what they’re doing to influence the mayoral candidates – get in touch with them via writetothem.com.
The Silvertown Tunnel is a threat to a great swathe of London – that’s why both Hackney and Lewisham councils passed motions against it. If you can take a few minutes to email a mayoral candidate with your concerns, you’ll be doing thousands of people a huge favour.