Your voice can help stop the Silvertown Tunnel – and you’ve got until the end of August to sign up as an objector to the scheme.
Despite growing objections to the tunnel – from residents, politicians and campaign groups – London mayor Sadiq Khan has allowed the proposal to stay in the planning process.
If we’re to stop this expensive waste of time, all of us who want to see the tunnel stopped need to take part in this process. So please take a few minutes to register as an objector to the tunnel before 31 August.
This planning process is being watched closely at City Hall. The more objections received, the more chance we have of getting this thing scrapped.
What’s going on?
The tunnel’s been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. So the decision’s not being taken by local councils, it’s in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. It’ll appoint an “examining authority” (which we expect to be a panel of three or more people) to study responses and decide on the arguments surrounding the proposal. You’ll find all the relevant documents here.
To take part in this, you need to register as an interested party, and then make a relevant representation – something short that sums up your opposition to the tunnel. Later, you’ll be asked to submit something more detailed.
Ready to begin? Here’s the form you need to fill in.
What should I write?
Quite simply, you should outline why you think the tunnel is a bad idea. Please don’t make sweeping statements about national or London/local policies – the panel won’t be interested.
Keep it short and to the point, on why you think the tunnel will have a negative impact on your community or on London as a whole. Please keep it to less than 500 words.
Is there a personal impact on you from the tunnel? Perhaps your neighbourhood will suffer from increased noise or pollution, or the extra traffic or tolling will make life harder for your business. If so, please make sure you include this in your representation.
Here are 10 points you might like to consider including:
- New roads generate more traffic. The tunnel won’t make the road network more resilient – it’ll only increase congestion. (You might like to name specific roads or areas here.)
- The scheme will not support regeneration in the affected areas, as claimed, and won’t provide the promised economic and social benefits.
- TfL has not properly considered alternatives, including new public transport and better management of the existing network.
- Risks to the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site have not been properly considered.
- TfL hasn’t given adequate information on the environmental impacts of the scheme (for example, its air quality assessments are still preliminary ones).
- There isn’t adequate mitigation for noise pollution (you might like to name affected areas).
- The environmental impact of better access for HGVs and buses has not been properly considered.
- TfL has not properly considered the effects of tolling on the wider road network (for example, on routes to the Rotherhithe Tunnel, which would remain free, though you may also have other examples).
- Tolling will also have a negative impact on local businesses – firms in other parts of London will not have to pay charges to get around.
- There’s been insufficient consultation with communities that will be affected by the scheme.
This factsheet from the Planning Inspectorate will give you more guidance in how to respond.
What are we saying?
You can see our full submission here. Feel free to refer to this in your response.
What happens next?
If the Planning Inspectorate decides your response is relevant, it’ll write back to you and let you know that you’ve become an “interested party”. This means you can take part in the planning process.
Later this year, it’ll hold a preliminary meeting to decide on the nuts and bolts of the inquiry (not the proposal itself) – the main issues, the timetable, and other matters. You’ll be able to speak at this.
You’ll also be able to submit more detailed evidence – so if you have particular expertise in one aspect of the proposal, then you may like to bear this in mind.
The Planning Inspectorate has more information on how it all works (scroll down to advice note eight), and you can also call or email it with any questions you may have.
This process should be over in spring 2017, when the panel will come up with a recommendation. It’ll then go to the Secretary of State for Transport for a final decision.
What else can I do?
As always, you may like to copy your response and send it to your local London Assembly members, MP and/or councillors. You can get their details via www.writetothem.com. We’d also like to see your response – particularly if you’re using a point we haven’t made. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please take part in this – your responses are a powerful weapon
The more people take part in this process, the more the panel will see the strength of opinion against this ill thought-through scheme. If you have a residents’ group, tenants’ group or amenity society, please consider asking them to respond too. You may also like to share this post on social media.
Please fill in the form by 31 August – the Silvertown Tunnel is too important and dangerous a proposal to allow others to speak for you.