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Toxic Silvertown Tunnel should be rejected, say senior London Greens

Caroline Russell and Sian Berry at the Blackwall Tunnel

The Green Party’s Mayoral candidate, Local Transport Spokesperson and a longstanding Green Party Assembly Member are together urging Londoners to say no to Boris Johnson’s plan for a new multi-lane road tunnel between Greenwich and Newham.

A consultation ahead of an expected planning application in early 2016 is launched today by Transport for London, and the city’s residents have two months to reject these plans for more traffic, and more pollution in east London.

Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for London Mayor said:

“Building new roads to create more traffic is the last thing London needs. If elected I’ll cancel these plans and invest in ways of getting more people across the river, on foot and bikes and public transport, not inviting more cars and lorries into our city.

“We have seen all too clearly the failure of manufacturers to clean up vehicles and cut the pollution we are forced to breathe every day. I would put a stop to the huge mistake of the Silvertown Tunnel and provide the kind of transport people really want in south and east London.”

Darren Johnson AM, chair of the Environment Committee on the London Assembly said:

“Londoners should respond to TfL’s consultation with a resounding ‘no’ to the toxic air pollution and traffic it will produce. In 2007, citizens and campaigners managed to get the last proposal for a new motorway bridge in this area rejected by a planning inspector at a public inquiry and the case for this proposal is even more shaky.” 

Caroline Russell, candidate for the London Assembly and the national Green Party spokesperson for Local Transport said:

“We have known for decades that building new roads is self-defeating and only creates more traffic in the end. The only way to cut the deadly air pollution in this area and reduce congestion permanently is to improve other ways of getting around. This means new foot and cycle bridges and new public transport links, not new road capacity.”

The Greens have pledged to cancel the plans if they win the Mayoralty or a casting vote on the budget in the London Assembly next May.

Local campaigners have measured current levels of air pollution both sides of the river and found these to be far above legal limits at many locations where traffic using the new tunnel is expected to spill out onto local roads.