News from Caroline Russell: Mayor should invest in Healthy Streets and cancel Silvertown tunnel

25 January 2017

A £1.5 million boost to set up a low-carbon energy company for Londoners, and increased funding for walking and cycling schemes to make streets more people-friendly, are two amendments to the Mayor’s budget proposed by Caroline Russell.

Caroline Russell is asking the Mayor to challenge the dominance of the ‘big six’ and mirror investment made by Nottingham Council, who allocated around £1.5 million to set up a similar not-for-profit Robin Hood Energy Company. [1]

The Mayor recently praised Caroline Russell’s report ‘Prioritising People – how to deliver healthy streets’  [2] and she is proposing that funding for cycling and walking is increased to make sure any borough that wants a ‘mini Holland’ scheme can have one.

The funds for new healthy streets projects would come from cancelling the Silvertown road tunnel, a scheme which will cost £17 million and 17,000 staff hours in 2017/18.

The amendment also asks the Mayor to fund a study into the real needs of East London for transport links, broadening ideas out from river crossing and considering radial links into the city, by public transport, walking and cycling.

Caroline Russell said:

“These amendments are about fairness.  London businesses, schools and hospitals would benefit from competitively priced low-carbon energy. A not-for-profit energy company would bring down bills and reduce the fuel poverty that is a reality for so many Londoners.

“This week we have suffered the highest air pollution since I joined the Assembly, Londoners need healthy streets where they can trust the air they breathe.

“The fierce opposition to Silvertown tunnel from people living around Newham and Greenwich shows just how unwelcome it is, the Mayor should use the money to fund a coherent study into what people living in East London and the Thames Gateway actually want and need.

“Investing in greener energy and making our streets people-friendly, safer and more convenient has a two-fold effect of cleaning up our air and enabling more local journeys on foot and by bike.”

Notes to editors

[1] Mayor’s commitment to setting not-for-profit energy company.
http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_288053

[2] Caroline Russell’s report ‘Prioritising People – how to deliver healthy streets’ https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/london-assembly/london-assembly-publications/publication-caroline-russell-prioritising

Full text of the amendment:
https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/green_amendment_a_2017-18.pdf

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