Green Party says it will thwart plans for east London river crossings
A leading figure in the Green Party has promised to scupper plans for east London river crossings and said politicians in support of them were sacrificing health for small economic benefit.
Darren Johnson hosted a meeting of academics and environmentalists against the proposed Silvertown Tunnel and the Gallions Reach crossings last week.
The links have the backing of a number of east London politicians including Tower Hamlets and Greenwich MP's Jim Fitzpatrick and Nick Raynsford, as well as London Assembly Member for City and East John Biggs.
They claim it would boost east London's economy.
Councils from both sides of the river are also calling for crossings to be built and, under the instruction of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, TfL has already held a recent public consultation into river crossings, and is planning for more.
But speaking to The Wharf Darren Johnson, who is also the chair of the London Assembly, said he would do all he could to make sure the crossings never materialise.
"Those people supporting the crossing plans are prepared to sacrifice air quality and the right to clean air for economic benefit for the few," he said.
"Obviously we need to create jobs and opportunities but not by building more roads. And there's no evidence that more roads equate to more jobs.
"We worked to scupper the original Thames Gateway bridge and secured funding for the case against that at the public inquiry.
"We fought off Ken Livingstone's road building schemes and we're going to fight off Boris Johnson's road building schemes as well."
Speakers at the meeting at City Hall said the money should be put towards cycle and pedestrian crossings, such as more ferries.
Transport consultant John Elliott said: "London has an unmeetable demand for traffic. We've got to encourage people to use other forms of transport."
Environmentalists are against the tunnel, which is planned between the Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown in Newham, in the area seen below, as it believes it could double traffic to the region, leading to major health implications.
Meanwhile, the Gallions Reach crossing is an attempt to reignite plans for the Thames Gateway Bridge (below).
What the pro-river crossing politicians say
MP Jim Fitzpatrick: "East London will only be expanding in the future and we've got to look at more crossings. Two at a minimum. Half of London's population is living east of Tower Bridge so this is a big issue for the area."
MP Nick Raynsford: "For too long, Greenwich and Woolwich have suffered from inadequate provision for river crossings. Severe congestion at Blackwall, and also queues of lorries waiting for the Woolwich Ferry, are not just inhibiting economic development; they are also causing serious pollution."
AM John Biggs: "This is for the sake of regeneration in south and east London and improving the economy of the area."