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Protesters board Silvertown Tunnel drilling rig this morning

Protesters against the Silvertown Tunnel have boarded a drilling rig on the Thames this morning.

Extinction Rebellion had previously announced protests in Greenwich Peninsula this weekend.

The group have called on Sadiq Khan to halt the £1.2 billion project. They state “Extinction Rebellion activists have boarded a drilling rig in the middle of the Thames at North Greenwich, which had begun preparatory work for the Silvertown tunnel. They have hung a banner saying No Toxic Tunnel. The Silvertown tunnel is a planned road tunnel underneath the Thames which will have capacity for HGVs, essentially creating a superhighway for highly polluting lorries all the way from the Channel Tunnel to distribution centres on either side of the river. Contrary to TfL claims, this WILL NOT ease congestion in the local area in the long run. The air in Greenwich and Newham is already polluted and people are dying as a result. The construction of the tunnel alone will emit 150,000 tonnes of CO2, which is totally at odds with the paris agreement.”

 

10 Comments

  1. Charles Calthrop

    They must be feeling neglected as of late, the world has suddenly moved onto other things

  2. Matt w

    Good on them. There seems to be acceptance that its needed, it’s approved and there’s nothing anyone can do to do it when the evidence available is the money should be spent in other ways and it’s going to be really bad for air pollution and traffic congestion. That said XR have a really bad rep after that stunt on the tube last year so it’s unlikely to get much support politically.

  3. Chris L

    The move to ULEZ means the lorries will produce much less pollution than current heavy vehicles.

    The current queues on the southern approach cause much of the poor air in the area.

    • Jonathan

      @Chris: Why not just toll the existing tunnel? Presumably that would reduce congestion. If this second tunnel is built, it will only be a few years before traffic, congestion and pollution levels are worse than they are now.

      @Charles: There’s a correlation between air pollution and coronavirus mortality rates. Hence the big isssue of the day – coronavirus – is related to the issue of pollution. XR are absolutely right to question the need for this tunnel, now more than ever.

      • Chris L

        All four tunnels will be tooled. Indeed the expansion of the ULEZ to the north and south circular roads in October 2021 should reduce traffic and pollution.

        We can’t continue to squeeze lorries and cars into the original tunnel. The new tunnels will also allow double deck (electric) buses to be used.

        I have argued before that the cause of the tailbacks going south is because three lanes are reduced to two. Close one lane on the three lane section at busy times.

        • Jonathan

          ‘We can’t continue to squeeze lorries and cars into the original tunnel’

          — but nor can we keep endlessly building roads, combusting ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels and producing ever increasing amounts of particulate pollution. If we do, the city we leave our children will suffocate them.

          Toll the tunnel, cancel Silvertown.

    • Chris – Don’t forget there are daily queues during the evening rush hour on the southbound section of the A102 as well. The important thing about this — as Murky has consistently pointed out — is that there will be no additional infrastructure for the southbound section. Two tunnels, loads of HGVs which aren’t there at the moment, low emission or otherwise — same road.

  4. Derek Small

    Whether you believe in XR tactics or not they bring the much needed publicity to the issue, so at least it’s not forced through without a fight. I think it will be good for XR themselves too as unlikely to have the same negative impact as the tube scenario, which affected peoples day to day getting to work. A win win, good on yer guys!

  5. Dave

    is it fair that people in the south east will have to pay tolls to cross the river whereas the rest of London has access to a number of road bridges,

    • Graham

      I agree Dave South East Londoners getting a raw deal yet again .

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