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Southwark Council objects to Silvertown Tunnel plans

Published Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Southwark Council

Southwark Council has formally objected to plans for a new river crossing between Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown.

The council previously called for TfL to address concerns around traffic congestion and air quality in earlier consultations, but to date, none of the council’s recommendations have been incorporated into the latest proposals.

Plans for the Silvertown Tunnel include the introduction of toll charges at the new tunnel and Blackwall Tunnel. Responding to TfL’s latest consultation, the council faults the move claiming that it will adversely affect the borough’s existing river crossings, specifically Tower Bridge and Rotherhithe Tunnel, as motorists attempt to avoid the new charge.

Following on from this, Southwark, which has long campaigned for the Ultra Low Emission Zone to be extended borough wide, also criticises the negative impact the increased congestion will have on air pollution levels.

Areas surrounding Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge make up some of the most polluted areas in London; further congestion hampers the council’s commitment to improving air quality levels by reducing traffic across the borough and increasing walking and cycling. Also, with four schools in close proximity to Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge, increased air pollution will have a detrimental affect on the health of these children first hand.

Councillor Mark Williams. cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: "Plans to improve connectivity between East and South London tie in well with the regeneration of Canada Water and Rotherhithe, but unfortunately TfL has done little to address our repeated calls for a proposal that better considers our concerns  about congestion in Rotherhithe and air quality.

"We formally object to TfL’s proposals as they currently stand but hope TfL takes on board our consultation response which stipulates the need to carry out more rigorous traffic impact assessments of the Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge, to extend the ULEZ to the whole of Southwark, remove the Lower Road gyratory and investigate other measures to mitigate the impact of the Silvertown plans."

TfL's plans also fail to take into account the traffic impact the upcoming regeneration of Canada Water/Rotherhithe and over the border in Lewisham will have locally. It's been left to both councils to jointly commission an independent review to fully understand the local impacts.

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