Plans for the controversial Silvertown Tunnel on the Greenwich Peninsula have been delayed by a further six months.

Transport minster Paul Maynard was originally supposed to make a decision on the tunnel, which would run under the Thames next to The O2 to Silvertown, before October 11 this year.

The plans were delayed by a month to give extra time for the Planning Inspectorate to consider ways to reduce air pollution by the controversial tunnel proposals.

This extra month wasn’t long enough so the minister announced on November 7 the decision would be delayed by a further six months.

In a written statement, he said it was to allow further considerations of the tunnel’s impact on air quality and compliance with the government’s plan to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide.

In the statement he said: “The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to give development consent.”

The latest delay has annoyed both Greenwich and Tower Hamlets Councils and in a joint statement they said they were “disappointed” by the latest delay and described the tunnel as “much needed”.

The statement read: “Both our Councils have always been keen to ensure that the Silvertown Tunnel should not have a detrimental impact on the environment.

“That is why we welcomed the Mayor of London’s revised and improved plans for cleaner, greener public transport options and significant investments in pedestrian and cycling improvements in our boroughs and others.

“Our residents’ lives have been blighted by stationary vehicles stuck in queues at the Blackwall Tunnel for far too long.

“Despite the additional six month delay, we welcome the added considerations into the impact on air quality and we look forward to the final decision in May next year.”

The campaign group No to Silvertown Tunnel said the delay gives more time to cancel the “toxic tunnel”.

No to Silvertown Tunnel chair Anne Robbins said: “This delay gives them the opportunity to cancel a scheme which will do huge damage to communities on both sides of the Thames, and one which will simply end up making congestion worse across a wide area.

“Sadiq Khan is serious about tackling air pollution, but he needs to show leadership and scrap this toxic tunnel.”

The new deadline for a decision to be made on Silvertown Tunnel is May 10, 2018.