Online Silvertown Tunnel discussion this morning as Sadiq Khan spins half-truths
Campaigners against Silvertown Tunnel have organised a discussion from 11am this morning to look at the impact of the project, with speakers from University College London and Imperial College London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan repeated his usual statement this week that the tunnel will reduce congestion – which simply isn’t true for much of Greenwich borough according to Transport for London’s own figures.
TfL’s figures also predate housing growth in Greenwich borough. On November 18th, plans for 6,000 homes and 2,000 parking spaces were approved by Greenwich Council, taking totals above 17,000 units at plots under the control of developer Knight Dragon. Of that project, TfL stated:
“The proposed residential car parking exceeds London Plan and draft London Plan standards and must be reconsidered.
The parking for the O2 Arena significantly exceeds draft London Plan and London Plan standards and robust justification for this is required.”
Before that, Kidbrooke saw an increase of 1,306 homes approved on 22nd October at a plot that previously had approval for 1,002. Transport discussion was sorely lacking at the meeting.
Kidbrooke was already forecast as the area to see one of the largest increases in congestion according to TfL.
Two tunnels converging onto one existing road in Greenwich – which is at capacity south-bound each afternoon – is not going to assist congestion according to TfL nor help local buses who will meet additional traffic.
This week Erith & Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare called for the tunnel to stop, and joins other MPs such as Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook. Many other councils have too including Newham across the Thames and Lewisham.
Greenwich Council waited until the last minute before writing a letter last year asking for a “pause”, which was ignored by Sadiq Khan. Hackney Council then proposed another letter from London councils. Greenwich Council refused to sign.
When Sadiq Khan talks of alleviating congestion, what he really means is selective alleviation with benefits north of the Thames. For the south the impact is only for northbound traffic in the mornings, tempered by worse congestion southbound in the evenings.
It’s notable that southbound afternoon queues are back again from Falconwood through Eltham, Kidbrooke, Blackheath and to Greenwich in recent days. Add another tunnels worth of traffic onto that, and congestion is extremely unlikely to reduce.
Greenwich Council have called for tolls on Woolwich ferry if traffic diverts to Woolwich.
Other river crossings have been cancelled such as a pedestrian and cycling bridge or remain unfunded, such as yet another proposed scheme to link Thamesmead over the Thames, this time via the DLR. All others have failed dating back 50 years.
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