Experts urge Sadiq Khan to cancel new Silvertown road tunnel on climate grounds | The Independent
Climate scientists, transport planners and economists say pushing ahead with new road ‘foolhardy’
Sadiq Khan is being urged to ditch plans for a new road tunnel in east London on the grounds that it will make it harder to meet the UK’s climate goals.
Experts have warned that the Silvertown Tunnel will encourage more people to drive and increase traffic and pollution on surrounding roads.
They argue that the new link – which will be for motor traffic only with no access for pedestrians and cyclists – is the wrong sort of infrastructure to be building if the UK is to get serious about the climate emergency.
But Transport for London and the mayor say the new road link will provide extra road capacity in the area and relieve the existing Blackwall Tunnel, which it parallels.
In an open letter to Mr Khan and transport secretary Grant Shapps seen by The Independent, dozens of eminent academics say “it would be foolhardy to press ahead with an infrastructure project that can only contribute to the UK’s excessive greenhouse gas emissions”.
They argue that the tunnel would have the effect of “skewing London’s transport system further towards roads, and exacerbating local air pollution problems”.
The letter calls on the mayor to “prioritise modal shift and public transport, not further expansion of the unsustainable road network”.