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.

Green dots indicate less congestion mainly north of Thames. Red (more queues) south of Thames across Greenwich borough including major growth area of Kidbrooke.

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.”

Revised plan recently approved in Kidbrooke

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.

Red dots indicate extra congestion post tunnel completion. Kidbrooke A2 junction sees one of the largest increases

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.

Both tunnels would converge on same road in Greenwich – unlike across the Thames

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.

Current level of traffic versus Silvertown & Blackwall levels according to TfL

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.

Tolling the ferry is on the agenda

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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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Online Silvertown Tunnel discussion this morning as Sadiq Khan spins half-truths

  • Maybe Sadiq Khan thinks he and his colleagues will benefit from a choice of buses to their new outpost at The Crystal when the GLA moves from City Hall. I’ve never met anyone else who wanted to go to Silvertown and the almost empty cable car would seem to suggest that this is generally the case. I do think there will be substantial congestion north of the river too as drivers attempt to get back to the Eastway to get to the M11 round lots of new roundabouts. Nobody benefits locally in this scenario whichever side of the river they live on. What is most alarming is how little thought has gone into improved pedestrian and cycle routes across this sea of roads. The offer from Riverlinx/TfL is solely the replacement of the old footbridge at Boord Street with an inferior one which will be difficult to cycle up (like the one at the cinema). You would have thought in the current climate that making the journey between East Greenwich and the Peninsula better would have been part of the agenda – definitely not making it worse.

  • For once I agree with Sadiq. The amount of accidents that happen in the northbound tunnel – it was built 100 years ago for horses and carriages. It wouldn’t pass today’s building regulations as it’s too narrow for two lanes. Coaches and LWB vehicles have to regularly enter the narrower right lane to get past the bends. It’s a disgrace that a new one wasn’t built years ago.

  • As I said in another post The Mayor and his Councillor cronies have been in their posts far too long and need replacing? We should be cutting back on emissions not adding to it? The building of thousands of new flats and housing in the SE London area will obviously only bring even more congestion? Mr Khan is really not worried about deadly emissions, he’s hoping that more transport in the area will mean paying for even more hikes in congestion charges?


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