COUNCILLORS officially announced their support for a new Thames crossing today (Jan 4) - but a campaign against the proposals is already gaining momentum.

Greenwich and Newham Councils are both backing Mayor of London Boris Johnson's proposed new tunnel at the Greenwich peninsula, linking it with Silvertown across the river.

But campaigners warn that pollution and congestion will rocket across the borough and immediate area - already the site of the Blackwall Tunnel.

Whose side are you on? Visit the Transport for London (TfL) consultation and have your say.

The case for

The council's Bridge the Gap campaign supports plans for the new peninsula tunnel and also calls for the axed Thames Gateway Bridge at Thamesmead to be built instead of a proposed new ferry service.

They highlight the disparity between east and west London, which means there are only two bridge crossings from Tower Bridge and Dartford, but a massive 25 further up the river.

Greenwich Council cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Denise Hyland said: "Where you build crossings on rivers you get prosperity."

She said: "We've been starved, really, of investment in east and south east London for decades and this is the time to put that right."

The councillor added that TfL would need to look at traffic modelling along with the environmental and economic impact of the proposals.

And she said the council wanted tolls at the crossings, with concessions for people from Greenwich borough.

Cllr Hyland said: "We speak, we believe, for the majority of residents and businesses in the borough and that's what we're elected to do."

To sign up for the council's campaign visit their website.

The case against

A petition against the Silvertown Tunnel was launched by two journalists from the area over Christmas and already has more than 150 signatures.

Their calls for a rethink on roads policy has been backed by campaign groups Friends of the Earth, Roads to Nowhere and Stop City Airport.

Central to the objections is the increase in traffic travelling through Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath, Kidbrooke and Eltham along the A102 and A2.

Organiser Adam Bienkov, 31, of Rochester Way, Kidbrooke, said: "The approach roads to the Blackwall Tunnel are already some of the most polluted and congested in London.

"Traffic regularly backs up to the narrow section of the A2 near where I live in Kidbrooke, spreading fumes and traffic jams into the wider area. The Silvertown Tunnel would just make this worse."

They also cite London Assembly statistics showing that pollution contributed to 150 deaths in the borough during 2008 alone.

Co-organiser Darryl Chamberlain, aged 38, of Victoria Way, Charlton, said: "Councillors should be defending their communities, but if they won’t do that, then hopefully this petition will prove to them just how wrong their decision is, and will give them the opportunity to change their minds."

Every petition signature automatically generates emails to the Mayor of London, Transport for London and both council leaders. To sign up or help with the campaign visit