Bridges for cycling, not traffic-clogged tunnels


Caroline Pidgeon has strongly condemned the planned Silvertown tunnel as unnecessary and likely to result in increased traffic across East London.

Commenting on proposals, Caroline said: "South East London is poorly served by public transport.  Bexley, Bromley and Lewisham are completely excluded from the Tube and national rail services are some of the worst performing in London.

"We know that road tunnels or bridges generate long distance road travel. When the second section of the Blackwall Tunnel was opened it was reported that “once open 40,000 vehicles a day would have a direct link to the continent.

"There are real fears that building the Silvertown tunnel will create huge new problems.  The proposal to toll this new tunnel, and the existing Blackwall tunnels will push more traffic onto the Rotherhithe tunnel, adding to current congestion problems in the area.   At the same time newly generated traffic serving the Silvertown tunnel will magnify the already appalling air pollution levels that exist in many parts of Greenwich and east London.

Ultimately London is a knowledge based economy. Of course heavy construction sites need to be served and supermarkets kept stocked.  But the major employment centres in London only occasionally need lorries and vans to operate - and certainly do not need masses of car parking. In areas like Canary Wharf there should be a workplace parking levy, the proceeds of which can be channelled back into making fares cheaper for people travelling before 7.30am on TfL Tube and rail services.

So instead let’s prioritise public transport.  Lets extend the London Overground from Barking Riverside across the Thames. The Bakerloo Line also needs extending, not just to Lewisham, but right through to Bromley.

On the river the Woolwich ferry service should not be scrapped, but replaced and run for longer hours. 

The cable car should be run as an integral form of public transport and we must build at least one proper pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames, the first being from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.

The last thing east London needs is more road traffic. We need a Mayor who is prepared to prioritise public transport, walkers and cyclists.​


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