Enderby Wharf - air quality

MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The report you commissioned from Amec concluded that the Enderby Wharf cruise terminal could give rise to 'moderate adverse effects'. Can this be regarded as 'air quality neutral'?


Answer for Enderby Wharf - air quality

Answer for Enderby Wharf - air quality

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes, thanks.  One of the great illusions is that river traffic or boat transport is in some way more environmentally friendly than others.  It simply is not.  These boats use colossal diesel engines.  We have got to make sure that we mitigate the impact of cruise ships arriving at Enderby Wharf in Greenwich. 

There is already planning permission for a cruise line terminal at Enderby Wharf.  What we need to do is to more homes and more jobs delivered as a result of that permission.  We are also seeking measures from Greenwich towards mitigation of the impact of these boats.  Although the funnels will be very high - they will not be, as some people have said, at street level - they will unquestionably be, in my view, adding to mono‑nitrogen oxides (NOx) and to other pollution in the area.  We have secured £400,000 more towards local mitigation to minimise the impact of this scheme on the area. 

Jenny Jones AM:  You are almost arguing against what the Greater London Authority (GLA) has determined.  I feel the GLA has played down all the pollution fears.  In fact, the recent report said about ‘moderate adverse effects’.  When you look at the criteria for how those adverse effects happen it actually sounds as if they could be a fairly frequent occurrence.  It is things like a still day or a wind from the southeast.  Yet you have allowed the GLA to support this whole project.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  One of the problems is that the new planning application, which we have supported, is actually air quality neutral.

Jenny Jones AM:  It is not if there is a potential for adverse weather effects.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  It excludes the ship movements that have already got planning permission, if you see what I mean.  We could only assess the new application that we had before us.  Nonetheless, there have been funds secured for mitigation in view of the adverse impacts that the fumes from these ships could have on the area.

Jenny Jones AM:  Instead of mitigating effects, you could just not have the effects at all. 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  You could.  That is a very reasonable point.  What you would lose is a lot of revenue.  You would lose a considerable number of jobs for the area.  The borough wants it to go ahead.  Local people are broadly supportive of the scheme.  I would like Greenwich to go further and seek further mitigation from the operators of the cruise liner terminal.

Jenny Jones AM:  This is probably a very big mistake. 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  If you are saying we should basically have a cruise liner terminal that would ‑‑

Jenny Jones AM:  Yes.  It is going to be dirty.