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“No to Silvertown Tunnel” announce a new air pollution study for January

Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach, 2010

It’s two months since we revealed the results of our first pollution study along the approaches to the Silvertown Tunnel. Our findings have prompted a debate that neither the Mayor of London nor Greenwich Council wanted to have – about pollution and congestion in our part of south-east London.

We’ve changed minds, too – with Labour hopefuls to be their candidate in Greenwich & Woolwich speaking out against the tunnel, and local Liberal Democrats have come out against it as well. And only a fortnight ago, Lewisham Council restated its worries about a tunnel that its neighbours in Greenwich are blindly backing.

It’s clear that the backers of the Silvertown Tunnel have no evidence that it will do any good. We have evidence that it will do harm. But we need to persuade more people of this – the tunnel still appears in TfL’s new business plan, released last week.

So we’re planning a new pollution study, to take place in January. And we’d like you to get involved. You can either help us fit tubes, or help us fund them, or both.

This study will be bigger than the one we carried out this summer. It’ll stretch out further along roads which will be affected by the Silvertown Tunnel. This will give us more comprehensive results, and will enable us to get wider media attention.

  • It’ll run along the A2 into Welling, Sidcup and Bexleyheath. Homes here face onto a motorway-style dual carriageway which will have to accommodate more traffic if the Silvertown Tunnel is built. Despite this, Bexley Council backs the new crossing.
  • We’ll be surveying along the A200 Creek Road and Evelyn Street, through Deptford and up to the Rotherhithe one-way system. If the Silvertown Tunnel is built, these streets face a huge increase in traffic.
  • Our study will also look further along the South Circular Road, towards Catford, to look at the impact on a road which is already busy and bears the brunt whenever there is a problem on the Blackwall Tunnel approach.

Think your area should be involved? Then get in touch. We already have community groups in Deptford pledging to get involved – the results will also come in useful for their campaigns against the Convoys Wharf development and Thames Water’s sewage tunnel works.

Whether you’re on your own (we’ll find you someone to work with) or there’s a couple of you, or you’re in a community group, we’d like the widest possible number of people to take part, whether north or south of the river Thames.

All we ask is that you put the tubes up on a weekday between 6-10 January, leave them there for four weeks, and take them down between 3-7 February. (We have to pick weekdays to make them fit in with existing air pollution studies carried out by local councils.) All you’ll need is a stool or stepladder, a pair of scissors, and a camera – we’ll show you the rest.

Can’t spare the time but would like to help? We’re looking for funding for the tubes, which cost £7 each which includes the cost of processing at the laboratory. We’re also looking for business sponsorship, to prove to Greenwich Council that local firms actually do care about their area.

We’ll also be meeting on January 12th to formalise our campaign’s constitution and talk a bit more about the shape that the campaign will take in the future. If you’d like to know more about what we’re suggesting or if you’d like to join us at that meeting, drop us a line at info@silvertowntunnel.co.uk

If you can spare time or money, please get in touch. We appreciate it’s a busy time – but helping us stop the Silvertown Tunnel might be the best New Year’s resolution you’ve made in years.