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Luisa Porritt: Scrapping of Silvertown tunnel ‘top priority’ UK News

Luisa Porritt said scrapping the Silvertown tunnel “must be a top priority” to tackle poor air quality and the climate crisis.

Speaking at a campaign event today, the Liberal Democrat candidate reiterated her pledge to remove what she has dubbed “Sadiq Khan’s dirty little secret” if she is elected on May 6.

The project, which will cost around £ 2bn, will connect the Greenwich Peninsula west of Silvertown via a road tunnel under the River Thames in an effort to ease congestion in the Blackwall Tunnel.

Ms Porritt said: “Scrapping the Silvertown Tunnel must be a top priority if we are to truly tackle the climate emergency. London must play its part in meeting our climate commitments, so the last thing we should do is build a new motorway and add more cars to our roads.

“We already have enough emissions from buildings and transportation use in our city, so this needs to be scrapped.”

She added that it was “an absurd argument” that the Silvertown Tunnel could relieve congestion from the nearby Blackwall Tunnel and reduce traffic in the area.

“We know from all the other examples of new roads being built that it just means more cars on the road and traffic jams are going to build up again over time. So this will not solve the Blackwall tunnel congestion problem. ”

The Liberal Democrat candidate was joined today by two of her party’s candidates for the London Assembly election, including Greenwich and Lewisham candidate Chris Annous, who said demolishing the tunnel was her ‘priority number one”.

The £ 2bn draft has come under intense scrutiny from locals, activists and opposition candidates, with Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry also pledging to the delete if elected on May 6.

Last week, activists hosed down the slogan ‘stop the tunnel’ on the Thames embankment, while this morning The Independent reported details of a letter sent to Sadiq Khan and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps by academics and experts calling for the project to be stopped.

Campaigners hosed down the slogan to stop the tunnel on the Thames quay near the proposed site of the tunnels

Campaigners hosed down the ‘Stop the tunnel’ slogan on the Thames quay near the proposed tunnel location

In the letter, experts said it would be “unwise” to go ahead with a project “which can only contribute to UK greenhouse gas emissions”.

Victoria Rance, an activist for Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition, said: “The letter in The Independent today shows the strength of sentiment among academics and top experts who know their stuff about transportation, the environment and the environment. weather.

“They say it should be scrapped. And if the government and Sadiq Khan cannot listen to them, what hope do we have? I think we really need to listen, and I’m afraid the protests won’t end after the election. ”

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan’s campaign said the Silvertown Tunnel “is the only alternative to help reduce poor air quality and massive congestion caused in the region by the Blackwall Tunnel”.

They said: “This will not cost taxpayers money, but will use the proceeds of a user charge in the Blackwall Tunnel and the Silvertown Tunnel to pay for a dedicated bus lane.

“It will also provide a free route for cyclists and pedestrians to get from one side of South East London to the other.”

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This notice was published: 2021-04-21 16:03:24