Environmental campaigners have blasted the planned Silvertown Tunnel as being “illogical” following TfL’s recent date announcements.

A resurgent movement on both sides of the Thames continues to pressure Sadiq Khan to scrap the proposed tunnel between Greenwich and Silvertown.

Last week Transport for London (TfL) revealed the opening date had been pushed back from 2024 to 2025, as it announced the consortium tasked with getting the underwater tunnels up and running.

TfL says the multi-billion-pound scheme will improve public transport with new buses, but activists continue to blast the proposals as being “illogical.”

Victoria Rance, a Greenwich teacher and mother of three, is one of the organisers of the re-emergent campaign.

She said PR “spin” that the tunnel will reduce congestion doesn’t add up as TfL will need toll revenue to pay the project back.


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She said: “We’ve been arguing against that for so long that it is incredible they keep saying the same thing. There’s a whole illogical thing – they need tolls to pay it back.

“They have to get traffic through to pay tolls. They say they won’t create traffic- how will they get the right amount of traffic to generate the toll revenue? It’s completely illogical. If you’re trying to reduce traffic how will a new tunnel do that?”

The tunnel will be paid for by tolls introduced on the new tunnel and the Blackwall tunnel.

The campaign, backed by dozens of Greenwich schools and nurseries concerned over pollution, congestion and traffic, recently handed an objection to City Hall.

In her response, seen by this reporter, former Lewisham East MP and deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander says that the new tunnel could lead to a decrease in HGV traffic.

Mrs Rance said: “It can’t be true. It has been lobbied for by the freight industry. It makes no sense. How can creating new traffic reduce pollution.

“There were 700 closures of the Blackwall tunnel in 2017/18. Why not get technology to help that and not build a new tunnel – a child with science GCSE could figure that out”.

The Stop Silvertown Tunnel Coalition plans a further lobby outside City Hall ahead of the Mayor’s Question time on June 20.

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Meanwhile, Greenwich Council has reaffirmed its support to the contentious project which has long upset residents in east Greenwich.

Councillors over the water in Hackney hit out at the idea TfL can build itself out of congestion, but Greenwich Council says it is happy to support the more river crossings.

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, cabinet member for air quality, sustainability and transport, said: “We’ve always been happy to support new river crossings as long as public transport is integrated into them. We welcome the announcement of new bus routes, connecting areas such as Stratford and Canary Wharf to Eltham, Grove Park and Charlton for the first time, unlocking new journey options and supporting wider regeneration across the Peninsula.

 “We’ve also been committed to seeking appropriate mitigation for the tunnel to constrain growth in private car use and we made representations to the Secretary of State which resulted in many measures being incorporated into the Development Consent Order


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“The overall mitigations will be monitored through the ‘Silvertown Tunnel Implementation Group’ which we will be a member of. We will also be doing our own monitoring.

“Our officers have been in constant negotiation with Transport for London and we believe we have reached the best possible deal.”

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London, told the LDR service: “ The analysis that we have undertaken shows that the proposed user charge for Blackwall Tunnel and Silvertown Tunnel, together with the planned cross-river bus services, will mean that overall levels of traffic do not change with the introduction of the scheme.

“In fact, there is a small reduction in HGVs forecast on the approach roads, as a proportion will divert to use the M25 rather than pay the daily user charge.

“As well as the user charge, all HGVs using the crossing would be subject to ULEZ, LEZ and Direct Vision Standards to encourage the greenest, safest vehicles.

“The user charge will be specifically designed to prevent increases in air pollution and congestion on the approaches to the tunnel. It will also ensure the local road network can become a more pleasant place to walk and cycle in the future by reducing traffic and improving air quality.”