London Mayor Sadiq Khan has doubled-down on the “urgent need” for the Silvertown Tunnel after Labour MPs voted for it to be cancelled.
At the London Labour Conference this weekend a motion against the Silvertown Tunnel was carried after 74% of London’s MPs, London Assembly members and Councils backed it.
The motion calls for Khan to “cancel” the project on environmental grounds. It adds: “If Labour are truly committed to clean air and tackling climate change there is no justification for the tunnel.”
However, a spokesperson for the Mayor stressed that there was an “urgent need” for the tunnel to be built to help alleviate congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and consequently “tackle air pollution in London”.
The spokesperson added: “The Mayor is taking some of the boldest action of any city in the world to tackle air pollution in London. This includes the central London ULEZ which has helped cut roadside concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the central zone by nearly half. The ULEZ expansion will extend these benefits to millions of Londoners, both inside and outside the expanded zone.
“Anyone who has been caught in traffic due to a problem in the Blackwall Tunnel will know that there is an urgent need for another river crossing in this part of London.
“Extensive modelling shows that the introduction of tolls on both tunnels at Silvertown and Blackwall will mean no overall increase in traffic and an overall improvement in air quality.
“The new tunnel will mean fewer idling vehicles and better local bus services, including double deck zero emission buses which currently can’t operate across the river because of the restrictive size of the Blackwall tunnel. The extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone from this October – covering the Silvertown area – will play a crucial role in tackling congestion and improving air quality.”
The 1.4km twin bored Silvertown Tunnel is set to be completed in 2025 and will connect south London with the Tidal Basin Roundabout in Silvertown, in a bid to relieve congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel.
The Riverlinx Consortium of Ferrovial subsidiary Cintra, Bam PPP PGGM, Macquarie Capital and SK E&C was officially awarded the contract in November 2019, following months of legal wrangling between TfL and losing bidder Silver Thames Connect (STC).
Under the PPP contract terms, Riverlinx will raise the finance to build and operate the tunnel. It will be repaid when milestones are hit.
Speaking at NCE’s Tunnelling Festival in December, TfL senior lead sponsor Andrew Lunt said that this financing arrangement saved the project from being mothballed when TfL revised its business plans following a massive drop in revenue due to a passenger slump associated with Covid-19.
Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/