Blackwall Tunnel (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Question By: 
Bob Neill
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The trouble is that the accuracy of much of the information that you are provided with I am sorry seems to be open to question. First of all, it is clear from TfL's own information that the possibility of ceasing the tidal flow was raised by consultants back in 2005, so there was ample opportunity to discuss the issues then.

Secondly, the Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Greenwich categorically states, `I absolutely refute that there was any meeting with Greenwich to discuss the cessation of the tidal flow with TfL'.

Thirdly, if there was the need to look at this issue, even between December and April when the decision was taken, there was ample opportunity to consult with other interested parties. If Greenwich was consulted - which it says it was not - and the Highways Agency was consulted, why not consult Bexley and Lewisham? Why not raise the issue with the public so we could say, `Look, there is a problem because a minority of drivers are behaving stupidly, and unless that is stopped, the law abiding majority will lose out'. Would it not have been sensible to have taken the public on board rather than TfL behaving in this secret squirrel fashion?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Blackwall Tunnel (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for Blackwall Tunnel (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

We were told what the police's view was, and we had the consultant's report. The moment we realised that we could not put a barrier down we decided to start that process of consultation. The police took the decision, which is their professional responsibility, to stop it the next day so we could not get that process of engagement into place.

As we know, neither the Metropolitan Police Authority nor I have the power to direct the police in operational matters. They took the decision. If you think there is a great deal of conflict here in the various accounts and circumstances, it seems to me this is a point where the Assembly should have a scrutiny and call in TfL, the police and Greenwich and get to the bottom of it. Certainly it was not drawn to my attention until the week before. My initial response was to see if we could avoid closing the Blackwall Tunnel, had we been able to put a barrier down, but there just physically is not the room. This is a police decision at the end of the day; that truncated the ability to have a period of consultation.