Friends of the Earth has made fresh calls for the Silvertown Tunnel to be scrapped after a new assessment revealed that air pollution levels would be made worse by the tunnel.

The original tests for Transport for London failed to take into account the Government’s recent Air Quality Plan which was forced by the courts to use more realistic assumptions about pollution levels.

Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said: “Transport for London have said that it’s OK to make air worse here, because other areas in London are even worse - and so it won’t be this project which holds up the city’s ability to comply with legal limits.

“But when we’re talking about people’s lives being blighted by health problems and cut short because of the toxic air we’re breathing, increasing pollution for anyone is unacceptable.

“If the Mayor is serious about dealing with air pollution and improving the lives of Londoners then he must scrap this project before it starts. If he doesn’t withdraw it, the government must reject it.”

TfL says it intends to go ahead with the tunnel, planned to open in 2022, because it offers benefits such as reduced congestion at Blackwall and more cross-river public transport options, both of which aid air quality.