19 September 2020
Green London Assembly member, Caroline Russell, revealed last week that the Mayor of London has committed Londoners to paying £65 million a year for a quarter of a century for the Silvertown Road Tunnel.
Green Assembly Members have asked 102 questions about the Siltvertown Road Tunnel and it has taken sustained cross party work, community campaigning and widespread public outcry for the contract to finally be published.
Last year, Transport for London (TfL) signed a contract with Riverlinx which committed them to the Silvertown Road Tunnel project, but it was only in March that the Mayor published the contract in a highly redacted form with a comment that the details were ‘excluded commercially sensitive information’.
Now Caroline Russell has highlighted a small, discreet note in TfL’s recently published accounts revealing, along with further commentary from TfL auditors Ernst and Young, the failure by the Mayor to be straight with Londoners on the cost of this polluting motorway tunnel.
The £65m annual cost included in TfL’s accounts indicates that the total cost from 2025 to 2050 could be £1.6bn before including inflation, which even at 1.6 per cent RPI (the current figure for July) would lead to a total payment by TfL of £2 billion by 2050.
Caroline Russell said “ The Mayor has not been straight with Londoners. Last year he told us Silvertown Road Tunnel would cost £1 billion, in March it was £1.2 billion, and now we finally see what TfL will actually pay and it’s heading for £2 billion. This is outrageous."
"I have stood alongside many communities in opposing this tunnel which would run a belching, polluting road through the heart of some of London’s most deprived areas."
"The real financial cost has been hidden to avoid further opposition from the public and local politicians… As things stand, [the Mayor] should do the decent thing and cancel this polluting motorway tunnel now. “