Mayor of London Boris Johnson is seeking more action to reduce the impact on air quality of the proposed Enderby Wharf cruise terminal in Greenwich.

He said he had already secured an extra £400,000 to reduce the impact of fumes from large ships as they idle on the Thames and he is asking planners in Greenwich to “go further and to seek further mitigation from the operators”.

Speaking at City Hall, the mayor said: “One of the great delusions is that river traffic is in some way more environmentally friendly than others and it simply isn’t. They use colossal diesel engines and we have got to make sure we mitigate the use of cruise ships at Enderby Wharf.

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“Although the funnels will be very high they will be unquestionably adding to NOx and other pollution so we’ve secured £400,000 more towards local mitigation to minimise the impact of this scheme."

Green Party’s Jenny Jones was in favour of scrapping the scheme altogether. She told the mayor: “The Greater London Authority has played down all the pollution fears.

“A recent report said that there would be only moderate adverse affects but when you look at the criteria it sounds as they could be a frequent occurrence – it’s things like a ‘still day’ or ‘a wind from the south east’. Yet you allowed the GLA to support this thing. Instead of mitigating effect, could you not have it at all?”

Mr Johnson replied: “What you’d lose a lot of revenue and considerable number of jobs. The borough wants it to go ahead, local people are broadly supportive. I would like Greenwich to go further and to seek further mitigation from the operators.”