Tag Archives: lewisham council

Join No to Silvertown Tunnel at Lewisham People’s Day this Saturday

Last year's Lewisham People's Day in Mountsfield Park

Last year’s Lewisham People’s Day in Mountsfield Park

We’re pleased to announce we’ll be at south-east London’s biggest community festival on Saturday 9 July – so come and say hello to us at Lewisham People’s Day.

The Silvertown Tunnel is as much a threat to Lewisham as it is to Greenwich, Newham or Tower Hamlets – generating more traffic and increasing congestion and pollution on roads such as the South Circular through Catford, the A20 at Lewisham and the A2 through New Cross.

Lewisham Council recognises this and last year, councillors passed a motion opposing the Silvertown Tunnel. They also have serious reservations about the way TfL has gone about proposing it.

We’re grateful for their support, and we’re looking forward to joining all kinds of community groups at Lewisham People’s Day.

There’s live music from Misty in Roots, Trev & Simon and Yasmin Kadi; breathtaking views of London from the Big Wheel; chances to learn aerial skills with Upswing; BMX displays; and more fun for all the family.

Lewisham People’s Day runs from 12 noon to 8pm at Mountsfield Park, Catford SE6 1AN – it’s just off the South Circular, and a short walk from Rushey Green. Nearest stations are Hither Green, Catford and Catford Bridge.

Silvertown Tunnel: what’s happening now?

As you may already know, the planning application for the Silvertown Tunnel was submitted at the beginning of May, and has been given permission to proceed by the Planning Inspectorate, which is dealing with the issue. This doesn’t mean the tunnel has been given the green light – it just means the application’s seen as valid.

At the same time, Mayor Sadiq Khan says he is “reviewing” the project – but he has not said what the review consists of and how it’s being reviewed. So far, he has refused to withdraw the Silvertown Tunnel from the planning process, despite growing concerns about the scheme.

Because of this, we’re expecting the Planning Inspectorate to start accepting public comments on the Silvertown Tunnel proposal in a week or so. We’ll update you again when this happens to let you know what you need to do next to oppose the tunnel.

What else can I do?

Sadiq Khan is asking for views on how to combat air pollution. We think he should expand the planned ultra-low emissions zone to cover the existing London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ), rather than just the North and South Circular (questions 4 and 5). You may want to use question 18 to tell him to cancel the Silvertown Tunnel. Fill in the survey here.

Please sign our petition asking Sadiq Khan to suspend the Silvertown Tunnel planning process: www.toxictunnel.co.uk

Sign up for alerts from the Planning Inspectorate on the Silvertown Tunnel: Find out how.

Lewisham Council votes to oppose TfL’s toxic Silvertown Tunnel

Lewisham councillors fear the Silvertown Tunnel will make the notorious queues on the South Circular even worse

Lewisham councillors fear the Silvertown Tunnel will make the notorious queues on the South Circular even worse

Big news with just a few days left of TfL’s consultation – Lewisham Council has passed a motion opposing the Silvertown Tunnel.

Councillors unanimously passed the declaration, which said the planned tunnel between Greenwich and the Royal Docks “risks exacerbating rather than dispersing” traffic congestion in the area, including on the A2 and the South Circular Road in the borough.

The resulting increase in congestion also risks “a deterioration of air quality in the London Borough of Lewisham”, affecting the health of residents, it added.

Lewisham follows in the footsteps of Hackney, which passed an anti-Silvertown Tunnel motion in July.

TfL’s consultation into the £1bn scheme – the final one before it applies for planning permission – closes on Sunday. However, the final decision on whether to go ahead with the tunnel will rest with whoever succeeds Boris Johnson as London mayor next May.

See our guide to opposing the tunnel. The London Cycling Campaign also has some tips on how to say no.

Labour councillor and cabinet member for resources Kevin Bonavia poured scorn on TfL’s claims about traffic heading to the proposed tunnel.

“What TfL don’t say is how they’ll deal with the approach roads,” he said. “All they’ll have is a widening of the A102 near the tunnel – nothing about the approach roads further up.

“What does that mean for us in Lewisham, on the A2 and South Circular? More congestion.”

He also criticised TfL’s admission that there would be a “negligible” worsening of air quality in the borough because of the tunnel.

“We are suffering poor air quality now. That is simply not good enough,” he told fellow councillors at Lewisham Town Hall.

“This proposal is poorly planned, poorly placed, and only harm the poor congestion and poor air quality our residents face.”

Environment cabinet member Rachel Onikosi seconded the motion, accusing TfL of “over-egging” the case for the tunnel as a “congestion killer”, while fellow Labour councillor Suzannah Clarke said plans to toll both Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels were a “financial penalty” on local people.

Green Party councillor John Coughlin branded the Silvertown Tunnel “virtually nonsensical”, adding it was a “massive missed opportunity” for cyclists, who have few options for crossing the Thames.

“I seriously question TfL’s assertion that the Silvertown Tunnel will ‘virtually eradicate’ congestion on the Blackwall Tunnel approaches,” he said.

“We all know that if you build more roads, you get more cars; and when you get more cars, you get more air pollution – this is not a difficult thing to get our heads around.”

The motion was passed by all councillors present.

“We’re pleased Lewisham has become the second borough to pass a motion against the Silvertown Tunnel. It shows it’s not just a parochial issue in Greenwich and Newham – by generating more traffic, the Silvertown Tunnel will affect people’s lives across south and east London,” No to Silvertown Tunnel chair Nikki Coates said.

“The Silvertown Tunnel won’t do anything about the terrible traffic problems south-east London faces – in fact, it’s likely to make them worse. We’re glad Lewisham Council has recognised this and hope London’s mayoral candidates follow suit.”