The London Assembly will run a free seminar on 9 January examining the pros and cons of creating new river crossings in east London.
Last year, the Mayor proposed to build a new tunnel between Silvertown and Greenwich Peninsula, and create a new ferry service between Beckton and Thamesmead (itself an alternative to a bridge plan scrapped by the Mayor). These new options would ease pressure on the Blackwall and Rotherhithe tunnels, which are prone to closure following accidents, and are regularly gridlocked.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the prospect. Local websites 853 and Kidbrooke Kite are coordinating a campaign against the Silvertown Tunnel, claiming that the additional traffic will exacerbate the pollution and traffic jams that already blight this part of south-east London.
Any major infrastructure project like this is always going to put some noses out. It's a question of finding a suitable compromise that keeps London moving without detracting from the quality of life of those who live nearby. Is the proposed Silvertown Tunnel in the wrong place? Is it in the right place, but served by unsatisfactory approach roads? How will its construction and maintenance be paid for? Is a new crossing needed at all? Such questions will be discussed at the special seminar, taking place in the main chamber of City Hall on 9 January, disappointingly during working hours (2-4pm).
The list of speakers includes:
- Michèle Dix, Managing Director, Planning, TfL
- German Dector-Vega, London Director, Sustrans
- John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy, London First
- Richard Bourn, Traffic and Planning Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport
- David Quarmby, Chairman, RAC Foundation
A significant amount of time will be left for questions and answers from the floor. Attendance is free, but you're encouraged to register via firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7983 4206.