Pressure mounts on Sadiq Khan as third MP opposes Silvertown Tunnel
- Credit: Archant
The mayor of London is under renewed pressure to halt the Silvertown Tunnel with a third MP coming out against the £1bn scheme. Labour Party MP Abena Oppong-Asare has joined West Ham MP Lyn Brown and Matthew Pennycook, who represents Woolwich and Greenwich, in opposing the project.
Ms Oppong-Asare, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, urged Sadiq Khan to engage “meaningfully” with the concerns of those opposing the scheme which sees a tunnel linking Silvertown to the Greenwich Peninsula beneath the River Thames.
In a letter to the mayor, she wrote: “Green transport must be the future of this city”.
The Labour mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz and Labour mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville have already called on Mr Khan to abandon the project, while the Labour leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Danny Thorpe, has called for the project to be paused and reviewed.
Christian Wolmar, a transport expert shortlisted as a Labour candidate for the 2016 London elections, said: “I cannot understand why Sadiq Khan is persisting with this out-of-date project.
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“The Silvertown Tunnel is a 1970s solution to a 21st century problem. You can’t build more roads to get yourself out of a crisis when all it does is make it easier to get in a car or HGV and pollute more of London’s air.”
A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “Sadiq has been clear he doesn’t want to replace one health crisis with another and is determined our city’s recovery from coronavirus will be clean, fair and sustainable. His bold London Streetspace plans are making it safer and more convenient for millions more journeys to be made on foot or by bike.
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“A new tunnel at Silvertown is important because the existing infrastructure is both antiquated and worn out, and it will be funded by a toll, not TfL cash.
“Crucially, the tunnel will provide a public transport-focused river crossing with improved bus links across the Thames.”
She added that the combination of introducing tolls on the Blackwall tunnel and at Silvertown – and the extension of the ultra low emission zone from 2021 to include Silvertown – will play a “crucial” role in tackling congestion and improving air quality.
Transport experts, representatives from political parties and speakers from environmental organisations will outline the case for cancelling the tunnel and setting out alternatives, at an online conference at 11am today (December 4).
To register visit: http://www.bit.ly/3nDHA7D