Two London mayoral candiates together with leading figures in environment, health and transport have signed an open letter to Sadiq Khan demanding a rethink of the Silvertown Tunnel.
The project is currently on pause with Transport for London (TfL) under able to finalise its deal with the preferred contractor - Riverlinx consortium - due to legal action started by a rival bidder.
Now two candidates for Mayor in 2020, politicians from four parties and clean air campaigners together with representatives of radical claimte action group Extinction Rebellion, have signed an open letter to Sadiq Khan asking him to rethink his plan to build the £1bn tunnel.
The letter has been signed by:
- Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, and Dr Ian Mudway, Air Pollution Toxicologist, both from Kings College London,
- Phil Goodwin, Emeritus Professor of Transport at UCL and UWE,
- Stephen Joseph, former director of the Campaign for Better Transport, Dr
- Peter Strachan, Professor of Energy Policy at Robert Gordon University,
- Professor John Whitelegg, editor, World Transport Policy and Practice,
- Dr Audrey de Nazelle, Centre for the Environment, Imperial College London,
- Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey,
- Sian Berry and Siobhan Benita, Green Party and Liberal Democrat candidates for London mayor,
- and Extinction Rebellion national spokesperson,
- George Monbiot, Guardian Columnist and activist,
- Simon Birkett, founder and director of Clean Air in London,
- Jemima Hartshorn, Founder of 'Mums for Lungs',
- Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation.
The letter supports the Stop Silvertown Tunnel Coalition's three key demands to the mayor:
1) To ensure that TfL policy does not undermine London staying within its share of the IPCC global carbon budget for limiting climate heating to 1.5 degrees C, as supported by the mayor's recent climate emergency declaration.
2) To ask TfL to review the business case and traffic forecasts for the Silvertown Tunnel, to take account of the climate emergency and the London-wide actions needed to achieve carbon reduction goals. This should include an assessment of the traffic, carbon, air pollution and economic effects of using price mechanisms to fully decongest the Blackwall Tunnel without building the Silvertown Tunnel, and of a London-wide smart road charging scheme.
3) To commission from TfL new air quality assessments that show clearly what happens to local pollution if future mayors reduce or abolish the Silvertown and Blackwall tolls.