Campaigners for and against the controversial Silvertown Tunnel are making a final rallying call to get their supporters to sign up and have their say.
The deadline for registering as an “interested party” in the application closes on August 31, giving people just a few days to lodge their names.
The tunnel will act as a companion to the Blackwall Tunnel and link the Greenwich peninsula and the Docklands but has become the frontline in the capital’s battle over air quality.
While TfL argues that easing congestion at Blackwall will improve air quality overall, it concedes that there will be hotspots where it becomes worse.
Protesters say that, with Supreme Court rulings demanding the authorities tackle air pollution, creating more roads is not the answer and the money should be spent on cycle and pedestrian crossings.
Since Silvertown Tunnel was last in the news – when new mayor Sadiq Khan declined an opportunity to reject the scheme , clearance has been given for the £344million expansion of the London City Airport, adding concern about levels of air pollution in the Docklands .
Businesses, meanwhile, say that a reliable link is the key to unlocking regeneration in the east.
Darryl Chamberlain of the No To Silvertown Tunnel action group said: “If the Silvertown Tunnel is built, it’ll have huge effects on traffic in Docklands and beyond, creating new jams and undoing work done to ease pollution.
“Jams on Aspen Way, Leamouth Road and around Canning Town are bad enough as they are without a new tunnel feeding new traffic, including HGVs, straight into them.
“This project will also do nothing for those whose lives are blighted by the congested, polluted Blackwall Tunnel southbound approach.
“This planning process is simple and easy to take part in, so please take some time to make a submission and explain how the tunnel would affect your life and your neighbourhood. Don’t let politicians and lobbyists speak for you – it’s time for local people’s voices to be heard.”
Chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Colin Stanbridge said: “LCCI has long advocated more Thames fixed river crossings to improve north south connectivity and reduce congestion on the local road network.
“With London growing eastwards, the construction of a new road tunnel between Silvertown and north Greenwich is vital.
“The need to improve the capital’s transport infrastructure is central to London’s future economic development and success."
The Silvertown Tunnel was designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ by the Secretary of State for Transport in 2012. This means that we must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the scheme.
2016-2017: Hearing and examination process
2017: Decision on the application expected
2018/19: Construction begins
2022/23: Earliest opening date of the new tunnel