Press release sent from London Cycling Campaign and six other active travel and environmental organisations today:
A group of seven campaigning organisations wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last week to ask him to use the current enforced pause on the four lane Silvertown road tunnel between East and South East London, due to the legal case around contractors, to look again at the £1 billion project. They call on him to scrap the scheme outright, or at least pause it to consider alternatives, in the light of recent developments. All seven organisations have publicly opposed the Silvertown Tunnel project before, but suggest the new legal developments offer an opportunity to avoid committing to a hugely expensive and problematic and damaging project.
Campaign for Better Transport London, Cycling UK, Friends of the Earth, Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, Mums for Lungs and Sustrans say that the Silvertown Tunnel project is “incompatible” with the Mayor’s own Transport Strategy and “completely inappropriate”. They have written to the Mayor to say: “Given the scale of London’s air pollution and climate crises, their impacts on residents and your own policies, we believe all new transport schemes should properly contribute to addressing these problems rather than ignoring them, or even risk exacerbating them.”
The group raises concerns that the scheme risks simply redistributing congestion and air quality issues which would be unacceptable; that the scheme will actually likely increase overall motor traffic volumes in London; and that such a large infrastructure project (that at best maintains current motor traffic levels) stands in contrast to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy that aims to reduce overall car use by millions of journeys daily in just over 20 years. The group further points out that the emerging evidence on the climate crisis means the Mayor will have to go further and faster in cutting motor traffic than his strategy aims for anyway.
Instead of the Silvertown Tunnel, the group says the Mayor has alternatives, which would help address current problems, but that Transport for London has so far failed to assess a proper package of these. For instance, holding back traffic so it doesn’t build up at the Blackwall Tunnel approaches, further tolling of the existing Blackwall Tunnel, and bringing forward London-wide road-user charging have not been part of any alternatives assessment. And that allowing the tunnel to move forward while the proposed walking and cycling bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf is paused due to costs, despite both being set out as part of the same package, seems additionally problematic.
The full text of the open letter, sent to Mayor Sadiq Khan on 3 September can be found at: http://bit.ly/scrapsilvertown
Campaign groups call on Mayor to scrap Silvertown – London Cycling Campaign
Press release sent from London Cycling Campaign and six other active travel and environmental organisations today: A group of seven campaigning organisations wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last week to ask him to use the current enforced pause on the four lane Silvertown road tunnel between East and South East London, due… [Read More]