It’s 17 months since the Silvertown Tunnel was given planning approval by the secretary of state for transport. Since then, rather a lot has happened, but curiously, no digging has started – and the opening day for the tunnel slips further away.
Earlier this year, we decided to wind up our campaign. We began with a petition, launched on Christmas Eve 2012, then found ourselves conducting air quality testing all over south-east and east London. We held public meetings, talked to the media, we even talked to TfL. We encouraged people to make their voices heard in consultations, and we sat through six months of public hearings. The campaign was always about the consultation and planning process, and we had done all we could before the scheme was given permission. It was now for those involved in local politics to bring pressure on their mayor, Sadiq Khan, to change his mind.
Our remaining funds were split between two organisations: Network for Clean Air, which helped us with our early air pollution studies; and the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, which raises awareness of the dangers of air pollution and childhood asthma.
Our campaign was based around pollution and congestion. The climate emergency has now come to the fore as a reason to cancel the scheme in a way that it never did in the 2016/17 hearings. A new cross-party campaign, the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition, has been formed to focus on this. They have no connection with us – they are a completely different group of people. We wish them all the very best, and you can find them on Twitter at @SilvertownTn. (If anyone says they’ve met us, or done something with us, that’s who they mean.)
We’re keeping this website and our Twitter account alive as an archive of what we’ve done, including the air quality testing and our submission to the public hearings into the scheme.
We were helped in our campaign by scores of fantastic people, on both sides of the Thames, and of all political persuasions and none. We’re hugely grateful to each and every one of them, and we wish the new campaigners well as we watch to see whether this dangerous, poorly thought-through scheme really does go ahead.
Thank you for your support.