Silvertown Tunnel campaign needs your support

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  • As you may be aware, the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign has been going for a while now. It has featured much in the local media, and to date staged two citizen science experiments looking at air quality in Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs. We will shortly have the results of the second nitrogen dioxide pollution study, and this will hopefully tie in with the public debate around the forthcoming local elections.

    http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk

    Note that the European Commission has today launched legal proceedings against the UK over widespread breaches of the 2008 air pollution directive…

    http://goo.gl/ZxMAu6

    Expenses incurred by the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign have so far been met by the founder members out of their own pockets, but this situation cannot continue. For one thing, the air quality experiments are expensive, with each diffusion tube and associated data analysis costing us £7, and hundreds of tubes involved in each experiment.

    At the recent general meeting at which the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign constitution was drawn up and ratified, we decided against imposing a membership fee, and so must look elsewhere for funding. To that end we have identified like-minded groups and individuals, and are asking them for support, financial or otherwise.

    London-based cycling activists are part of a wide campaign against motor traffic congestion in London, and have declared themselves in favour of multi-modal river crossings that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists. Given that the proposed Silvertown Tunnel will be for motor traffic only, as with the existing Blackwall Tunnel, the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign is appealing to London-based cycling groups and individuals for financial as well as moral support.

    Francis

  • This campaign is really important. The last thing London needs is more through motor traffic capacity.

  • As Oliver says, it is important. We are up against a powerful and deep-pocketed lobby. The Silvertown tunnel is Boris' Big Idea, and Andrew Adonis, the Labour front-runner for the next mayoralty election, is also a keen supporter of the road tunnel, as are the borough councils in Greenwich and Newham.

    The No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign has made a surprisingly big media and community impact given the limited financial resources currently at its disposal. However, the campaign is set to heat up in the coming months, and we need to sustain and increase our momentum, hence the call for funding and political support from our natural allies in this fight.

  • A very good campaign.

    I don't know whether it would be that much help, but there is a group at King's college who specifically study air quality. If you get in touch with those research groups, they might be interested, or at least help you interpret the data that you gather.

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/biohealth/research/­divisions/aes/research/ERG/index.aspx

  • Our diffusion tubes are sent off to a specialist lab for analysis, and we are in contact with a number of experts who advise on interpretation and data presentation. Also, I am a former atmospheric scientist, with over a decade of research experience in atmospheric physics and chemistry.

    A very good campaign.

    I don't know whether it would be that much help, but there is a group at King's college who specifically study air quality. If you get in touch with those research groups, they might be interested, or at least help you interpret the data that you gather.

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/biohealth/research/­divisions/aes/research/ERG/index.aspx

  • I've just sent the following statement on behalf of the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign...

    London in the dock over air pollution

    The people of London know all too well the foul state of the air they breathe, and scientific studies confirm that air pollution from motor vehicle exhausts routinely exceeds statutory limits designed to protect our health. Pollution from vehicle fumes can lead to respiratory illness and premature death, and the problem is particularly acute in many British cities.

    Following persistent breaches of regulations governing air-borne pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter produced in the burning of fossil fuels, the European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for failing to deal with poor air quality. As with all EU regulations, the 2008 air pollution directive was drawn up with full and equal participation from the UK government.

    Concerned residents of southeast London have in the past year conducted two citizen science experiments looking at nitrogen dioxide levels near to major roads, including those linked with the Blackwall Tunnel. In the first of these studies, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were found to exceed legal limits at around half of the monitored locations. In the worst case, the pollution level was nearly twice the permitted maximum. Results from the second, more extensive survey are due shortly.

    Given the perilous and worsening state of our air, the Mayor of London and other local politicians should do away with plans to bring even more traffic congestion and pollution to the region. We call on them to scrap plans for a Silvertown road tunnel, and instead support sustainable Thames river crossings which prioritise public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

    Further information…

    Website: http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk
    Email: info@silvertowntunnel.co.uk

  • I used to ride the Mersey Tunnel before it banned bikes. Not great fun due to air quality but a great asset.
    The Limehouse Link Road is a great example of how a cycle lane below ground could work. It's got speed cameras which reduce speed and therefore allow space for other road users.

  • This might help

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-enviro­nment-26257703

    Indeed it does. Matt McGrath's article was linked in the initial post above.

  • This might help

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-enviro­nment-26257703

    Indeed it does. Matt McGrath's BBC News article was linked in the initial post above.

  • I used to ride the Mersey Tunnel before it banned bikes..

    I did too when I was a youngster. I never understood why they banned the bike rather than the cars, and there are 2 tunnels so one for cars and one for bikes would have made more sense.

    The Rotherhithe tunnel is also useful. It is often so congested with drivers ,. so smelly, and cars tailing back down Jamaica road, it clearly isn't big enough for cars. They should close that for cars at it would be so much more pleasant to cycle or walk through it.

  • I never understood why they banned the bike rather than the cars
    Have you ever been told about the birds and the bees? :)

  • What?
    So cars going in and out of tunnels has something to do with sex Oliver?

  • I was referring to your touching innocence in not understanding why cars might have been prioritised. :)

  • Do you understand why cars were prioritised over bikes Oliver?
    I must still have that innocence since even now I don't get it...

  • I assume the logic behind this tunnel is that Greenwich is so jammed because of people trying to get over the river to go east and the tunnel will enable them to do that more efficiently. I doubt it because the problem is really caused by Greenwich being in the way. If you start a 3rd tunnel there it will only get worse. The answer is to build a river crossing further down that is accessed by something that bypasses the central bits of London.

    Not doing anything is not an option, and the campaign is missing the point by assuming that the problem is private cars. This is central London, and maybe 70% of the problem is more like commercial traffic of various sizes, minicabs, black cabs and buses. Therefore a solution should be found that reduces or removes our reliance on that. If you care about pollution then the solution is to ban diesel and phase in LPG and LPG-hybrid vehicles. If you care about traffic volume then you need to look at moving deliveries to nighttime, incentivise working from home, increase river transport, build a Thamesside monorail or something, etc.

    Incidentally I'm not sure about the logic displayed here:

    The building of the second Blackwall Tunnel in the late 1960s saw traffic double within a year – and its new approach roads were jammed within a decade. The Silvertown Tunnel would be no different.

    Because didn't that co-incide with a huge boost in Britain's prosperity, the availability of affordable cars and finance to pay for them, people relocating to the suburbs and overspill towns and all the rest of it. It's correlation rather than causality. I'm sure studies show it, but do they normalise it to eliminate economic and societal factors?

  • more bridges! Pave the lot!

  • Not doing anything is not an option, and the campaign is missing the point by assuming that the problem is private cars. This is central London, and maybe 70% of the problem is more like commercial traffic of various sizes, minicabs, black cabs and buses.

    That's an interesting conjecture. Where do you get 70%?
    Anecdotally whenever there is a tailback along Jamaica Road of drivers trying to go through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (a lot of this of late) the vast majority of drivers are in private cars (Cabbies must pick up on this when it happens and find alternatives like Tower bridge)

  • The growth in private motor transport is a major factor in road congestion in London, but the Silvertown campaign and others opposed to a new road tunnel do not assume that this is the only problem. Far from it. Anyone who has looked at the data will acknowledge that the traffic is a combination of private cars, light goods vehicles and heavier haulage. The balance between them is an issue, and I would urge those of you who happen to cross the Thames through the Blackwall Tunnel to count the number of single occupancy private cars encountered during your journeys.

    Economic growth led to an increase in road transport across the board, but this alone cannot explain the congestion around the Blackwall Tunnel, and one could argue that the same applies to motorways such as the M25. The concept of "induced traffic" is a technically complex one, and there is a danger of attributing too much to it. Nevertheless, it is almost certainly real. That is, further facilitating motor transport leads to an increase in traffic, over and above the need for such. This is a transport engineering issue, and a big part of transport engineering is behavioural.

    As far as I'm aware, all serious road transport studies normalise their data to account for economic growth and other societal factors.

    Speaking personally, I am open to the possibility of a new multi-mode bridge further downstream. The problem there is political more than economic or technical. It's called Bexley.

  • That's an interesting conjecture. Where do you get 70%?
    Anecdotally whenever there is a tailback along Jamaica Road of drivers trying to go through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (a lot of this of late) the vast majority of drivers are in private cars (Cabbies must pick up on this when it happens and find alternatives like Tower bridge)

    A guess, but how many ordinary cars do you see in general London traffic?
    And then how many of them aren't actually minicabs.

    You would see more on the tunnel roads though, because options are limited if you need to cross the river.

  • Incidentally I like my monorail idea. We should campaign for that.

  • Returning to the matter of the Silvertown Tunnel campaign's need for resources, we have now got our bank account sorted, and the details are as follows...

    Sort code: 08-92-99
    Account number: 65714195

    Donations much appreciated.

    LCC at central level has said no to our request, citing poverty and charity law requirements. This despite the fact that LCC has declared itself opposed to a Silvertown tunnel. LFGSS folk are in my experience more robust, reasonable, independently minded and proactive. :-)

    The No Silvertown Tunnel campaign will soon be publishing the results of our second air pollution study, and we are gearing up for the local elections. During the campaign, our focus will be on road congestion, air pollution, quality of life and sustainability. To get the message out we need your help, financial and otherwise.

    Francis

  • Bump!

    How's the fundraising going, Francis?

  • Alex - as for the cycling community, LCC and borough cycling groups lobbied to date have all declined to donate, with LCC's charidee status cited as a reason. However, a few individual cycling activists have dipped into their own pockets, and we very much appreciate their support.

    Most of the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign funding thus far comes from the over-stretched pockets of its committee members.

    For those wishing to donate...

    http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk/donate­/donate-silvertown-tunnel/

    Our air pollution study results will be published very soon. Watch this space!

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Silvertown Tunnel campaign needs your support

Posted by Avatar for FrancisSedgemore @FrancisSedgemore

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