Following “revelations about pollution”, campaigners are demanding that Sadiq Khan withdraw TfL’s Silvertown Tunnel application from the planning system.

The controversial tunnel linking the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks in east London is being billed by supporters as a welcome solution to ease traffic going through the Blackwall Tunnel.

But the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign claims that the project will generate more traffic, exacerbating congestion at other bottlenecks across London and leading to worse air quality and longer journey times.

Transport for London (TfL) submitted an application last month, which has now proceeded to the next stage, being formally accepted for examination on May 31.

London Assembly Member and the Green Party’s spokesperson for local transport Caroline Russell said that a river crossings review promised the mayor of London in April 2016 will be “sham” if he lets the plans continue to progress.

She said: “It is very disappointing that the Mayor wants to push ahead with the hugely damaging Silvertown Tunnel.

“New roads bring new traffic and pollution.

“I will continue to urge the Mayor to think again, stop wasting Londoners’ money on the Silvertown Tunnel plan and focus instead on building public transport, cycling and walking crossings instead.”


As campaigners seek to put the brakes on the Silvertown river crossing, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon wrote to Mr Khan last week in a bid to speed up plans for a bike bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

Mayor Khan told London Assembly members on Wednesday that he was reviewing the scheme, along with all the crossing proposals put in place under Johnson – but refused to withdraw it from the planning system.

Since being elected, the new mayor of London has accused his predecessor Boris Johnson of covering up a report that made clear the effects of air pollution in the boroughs that will be affected by the Silvertown Tunnel, such as Newham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark.

No to Silvertown Tunnel chair Anne Robbins said: “We never had much faith in the congestion and pollution assessments for the Silvertown Tunnel, but the shocking revelations about pollution and primary schools mean Sadiq Khan needs to pull the scheme out of planning, and urgently look again at a scheme that will damage the lives of communities across east and south-east London.”

“Nobody is denying Blackwall Tunnel congestion isn’t a problem, but the Silvertown Tunnel will only make the situation worse.

“Even a tunnel for 'cleaner vehicles' would just send more polluting traffic into local areas to head to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

“The tunnel will cost Londoners £107m before the diggers even start work – money TfL could put to better use elsewhere.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor made a commitment in his manifesto to deliver the major infrastructure that London needs for the long term, including new river crossings for east London.

“He will review the merits of the Silvertown Tunnel alongside a six-month public examination of the scheme, which is expected to begin as part of the planning process later this year.”

Campaigners are holding a public meeting in Canning Town on Thursday 9 June to discuss the proposals at Community Links, 105 Barking Road E16 4HQ at 7.30pm.