News from Caroline Russell: Mayor’s plans for ‘greener’ Silvertown tunnel dismissed

04 October 2016

Caroline Russell AM has criticised the Mayor of London’s announcement today that he will press ahead with plans to build the Silvertown Tunnel, a four lane trunk road scheme in east London.

The Mayor claims the project will improve cross-river connectivity in east London and reduce congestion but opponents claim the scheme will encourage more traffic. He also claims that by including a bike-carrying bus and using cleaner construction vehicles he will deliver a ‘greener’ tunnel.

Sadiq Khan promised in April 2016 to conduct a “proper joined up review, looking at river crossings and improved public transport connections east of Tower Bridge, but in a strategic fashion, not piecemeal…” (2)

In May Caroline urged the Mayor to withdraw the application for powers to build the tunnel. The Mayor refused. (3)

Caroline Russell AM commented,

“New roads attract new traffic, pollute the air and are incredibly expensive so it’s extremely disappointing that the Mayor is pushing ahead with the damaging Silvertown Tunnel. He claims he will deliver a ‘greener’ tunnel but the measures he has suggested are tokenistic. This is still a hugely damaging project.”

“East London is already one of the most polluted parts of the capital so the Mayor should be providing residents with choices to cross the river by public transport, on foot or by bike rather than leaving them with little choice but to add to congestion and pollution by using a car.”

“Sadiq Khan’s river crossings review should have given people the chance to have their say on an alternative package of clean and healthy river crossings. He has missed an opportunity to deliver cleaner air and a healthier transport system that would improve the lives of so many Londoners.”

“I will continue to support local people to fight this road tunnel through the planning process and at City Hall I will hold the Mayor to account for his decision to progress this scheme.”

Notes to editors

1.     Caroline is available for interview.

2.     The Mayor made his comments to Transport Network magazine on 6th April 2016: http://www.transport-network.co.uk/Sadiq-Khan-pours-cold-water-on-Silvertown-Tunnel-plans/12719

3.     Watch Caroline questioning the Mayor about the Silvertown Tunnel project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OPjtHHn8aI

4.     The Mayor’s press release can be accessed here: https://www.london.gov.uk/transport/londons-river-transport/more-river-crossings-all-road-users