Silvertown Tunnel Plans Further Delayed for Six Months by Ministers

According to recent accounts, ministers have been responsible for delaying a ruling on the Silvertown Tunnel plans of Transport for London for six more months. In a statement in written form submitted to Parliament, Paul Maynard, transport minister, has stated that the deadline for the ruling on the Silvertown Tunnel will be delayed until the 10th of May 2018, in order to give time to assess the effect of the project on the quality of the air. 

More time needed to assess air quality in the proposed Silverton tunnel

More time needed to assess air quality in the proposed Silverton tunnel

The Silvertown Tunnel, as its developers have confirmed, is a prospective new road tunnel consisting of twin bores that will pass underneath the River Thames and which can then provide a new link between the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach on the A102 and the roundabout junction on the Tidal Basin on London’s Lower Sea Crossing at the A1020. 

The reasons for the delay 

This delay, according to Paul Maynard, will also give them time to assess the compliance of the project with the updated plan on dealing with the concentration of nitrogen dioxide on the road, which was published on the 26th of July of this year by the government. According to Mr. Maynard, the delay in the ruling and the deadline of the 10th of May 2018 is without any prejudice when it comes to giving consent to the development or project. 

On the other hand, a London Assembly Member of the Green Party, Caroline Russell, has argued that the consent for the plan, rather than being delayed, should simply be refused. Ms. Russell has stated that the Silvertown Tunnel is set to bring enormous harm to the people in London who live near and around the tunnel. She added that this is obvious based on the evidence presented to the planning inspector, and it should also be stated in their report. According to Ms. Russell, the government should avoid delaying the decision even further. Ms. Russell states that if the Silvertown Tunnel does not meet the rules on planning, it should be denied. According to Ms. Russell, the Mayor of London also realises how damaging the tunnel and the network would be, and the Mayor should not wait for a government decision but should instead force TfL to withdraw the tunnel’s application now. 

A decision, based on the 2008 Planning Act, was scheduled for the 11th of October, but the ministers declared a delay of one month, particularly after the group ‘Friends of the Earth’ said that TfL admitted that the Silvertown Tunnel may end up adding to pollution in the air in certain areas. Transport for London has said, however, that it believes the Silvertown Tunnel would provide a positive rather than a detrimental effect on the quality of the air in local areas.

Posted on 27 Nov 2017 in News

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