Lewisham Council opposes new river crossing – Cllr Simon Hooks explains why

Lewisham Council recently passed a motion criticising and opposing TfL’s proposed Silvertown Tunnel.  The Tunnel would comprise four lanes and connect Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docklands.

Although councillors are keen to see additional fixed river crossings built, we are concerned that the plan for the Silvertown Tunnel would result in serious traffic and air pollution issues, particularly in south-east London. Therefore, on that basis,  Lewisham councillors are opposed to the proposed tunnel.

SilvertownLewisham Council strongly supports the principle of increasing transport capacity across the River Thames, particularly  in the east of the capital, which is extremely poorly served by river crossings. A properly considered and well located bridge or tunnel would be hugely beneficial to, and would help unlock the economic potential of, the residents of south-east London; however, we are not convinced that the Silvertown tunnel is an appropriate solution.

Our main concern is the fact that the location of the proposed tunnel, particularly the southern approach to it (which would be the same as the already heavily congested route to the Blackwall Tunnel),  would exacerbate, rather than remedy, the traffic and air pollution problems that already plague the area.

The Council is of the view that any additional fixed river crossing should be constructed further east and should be designed in a way that improves the current traffic congestion and poor air quality in south-east London.

We have called on the Mayor of Lewisham to ask the Mayor of London for a better plan to increase transport capacity between south-east and east London in a way that meets the above aims and helps ensure the health and well-being of our residents.

Details of the proposed Silvertown Tunnel can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/silvertown-tunnel  

Cllr Simon Hooks

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