Sadiq Khan urged to rethink £1bn Silvertown Tunnel project
PUBLISHED: 17:10 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 06 August 2019
Campaigners have demanded the mayor of London rethinks plans to build a controversial £1billion road tunnel between Silvertown and Greenwich.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, has also written to Sadiq Khan warning him of the "detrimental impact" the 1.4km Silvertown crossing would have on traffic and air quality.
Instead, Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition (SSTC) members want Mr Khan to consider a toll charge level for the Blackwall Tunnel which would end congestion.
SSTC co-ordinator said: Victoria Rance said: "We call on Sadiq Khan to pause the project immediately and ask TfL to do a full analysis of this alternative option which could allow Londoners nearly all the benefits of the Silvertown Tunnel without paying the £1bn price tag."
Campaigners say the tunnel's construction will emit 153,000 tonnes of CO2 and lock in existing means of carbon intensive transport as they called for the plan to be scrapped.
Dr Andrew Boswell, a climate emergency consultant, said: "Sadiq Khan has declared a climate emergency: he must now act on it and entirely rethink London's transport."
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Mayor Fiaz urged Mr Khan to spend the scheme's money on sustainable transport.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said: "Like the campaigners, the mayor has put tackling the climate emergency at the heart of his work. That's why when he became mayor, he worked with TfL to make significant changes to the Silvertown Tunnel scheme to better protect the environment."
He added the plans focus on cleaner transport, with buses using the tunnel expected to be zero emission and the crossing being located within the extended ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).
"The proposed user charges at both crossings ensure the scheme will not generate additional traffic or lead to an overall change in CO2 emissions and will deliver an overall improvement in air quality. There will also be monitoring of noise and air quality during and after construction," he said.
A TfL spokesman said: "We are committed to the project having a minimal impact on residents.
"Modelling demonstrates that overall traffic does not increase as a result of the scheme because the user charge can be set to manage demand for both tunnels."
TfL documents submitted at the planning stage included the option of only tolling the Blackwall Tunnel but concluded it would be less effective at reducing congestion.