Christian Wolmar, short-listed by Labour for selection as the party’s candidate to run for Mayor of London, says that if elected in 2016 he would scrap plans to build a tunnel under the Thames at Silvertown.
“The Silvertown Tunnel is an expensive scheme that will attract lorries and heavy traffic to south-east and east Londonand worsen considerably the air quality there, at a time when we should be doing our utmost to reduce pollution levels across our city,” Christian Wolmar said today.
Wolmar is the only Labour Mayoral candidate to oppose the£750 million Silvertown scheme, although the local MP haspublicly expressed concerns and the project is opposed by Hackney, Lewisham and Southwark councils as well as the constituency Labour Parties in Greenwich and Woolwich and Eltham.
Christian Wolmar said: “Transport for London seems hell-bent on pushing this through before next May’s Mayoral elections – one last Boris vanity project for the Tory Mayor to leave his stamp on, but it promises to be another costly embarrassment for Londoners, like the Dangleway, the Boris Bus and the Garden Bridge.
“The Silvertown Tunnel would be a deadly disaster for generations in east London and south-east London.
“There is no way that we should be building infrastructure that, as TfL admits, will make air quality worse. Poor air is already killing more than 4,000 Londoners every year and that scandal must be stopped.
“We need better public transport and facilities to encourage more people to walk or cycle. History has shown us that building more roads attracts more traffic. The Silvertown scheme is no exception.
“A small part of the money saved by not implementing this scheme should be spent on a real 21st Century transport solution, with a cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Thames, linking the business district in Docklands with Rotherhithe.”