Transport for London’s consultation into the Silvertown Tunnel is ongoing. You can find out more about why the tunnel’s such a bad idea on the rest of our webpages. We’ve already submitted our response – and you should submit yours too at www.tfl.gov.uk/silvertown-tunnel.
If you’re looking for some ideas, here are our suggested responses. Everyone will have a slightly different views, so feel free to add your own comments, or amend ours as you see fit.
6. What do you think about the consultation itself? (leaflets, websites, publicity, etc)
- More assessment of traffic flows and environmental and economic impact is required. Much of the evidence I need to reach a final decision on the merits of the Silvertown Tunnel is not available at this stage.
- The timing of this consultation, and that of the previous consultation into a replacement for the Woolwich Ferry, has been confusing. The Woolwich Ferry consultation assumed that Silvertown would be built, and this consultation assumes there will be some replacement of the current ferry that allows for 30% more volume of traffic. This makes it impossible to deal with each case on its merits, and to have confidence in what the aim of this consultation is.
- Publicity for this consultation has been inconsistent and has missed key affected areas. Drop-in consultation clinics are not advertised or signposted in the local area.
- Misleading information was released in conjunction with the launch of this consultation. TfL claimed 98% of those surveyed in the Woolwich Ferry consultation were in favour of ‘new river crossings’, when this figure included those who merely wanted to see the Woolwich Ferry continue with new vessels.
7. We consider that a new crossing is needed to improve the resilience of the road network in east London, relieve congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and beyond and to support growth in London’s population. Do you agree that a new crossing is needed and could successfully address these issues?
- In the last decade, London’s population has grown while car use has dropped.
Resilience will not be improved by adding additional traffic to the pinch points north and south of the tunnel.
- As TfL’s modelling is not open to scrutiny, we are asked to take assurances that there will be less congestion on trust. I demand greater openness on how TfL models traffic – after all, it us who face living with greater congestion and pollution if you get it wrong.
8. Would you support a user charge that was similar to Dartford charges levels, and during peak periods slightly higher, to help pay for the new crossing and resulting in more reliable journey times and less overall delays?
- TfL has no evidence that tolling set at Dartford levels would adequately manage demand for the crossing.
- Greenwich, Deptford, Poplar and Limehouse will be burdened with extra traffic from drivers diverting to the free Rotherhithe Tunnel.
- If the toll is more expensive at peak times, traffic will mill around areas close to the tunnel until the price for crossing has fallen: this effect can already be seen with the congestion charging zone.
- Charging tolls for a tunnel (as opposed to a London-wide charging system, for example), will act as a disincentive for businesses to move to areas close to it.
9. Would you sign-up to an account system, with the benefits of auto-pay and a charge that would be lower than what non-account holders would pay?
10. The Silvertown Tunnel would create an opportunity for new cross-river bus connections. What sort of new bus connections do you think are important?
Additional bus routes could cross the Blackwall Tunnel now without the need to build a new tunnel. Commercial operators already use the tunnel for coach services to and from Kent.
11. We will link the new tunnel to the existing road network with new junctions in the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula areas. Do you agree that the new junction in the Royal Docks area on the north side provides the right connections?
12. We will link the new tunnel to the existing road network with new junctions in the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula areas. Do you agree that the new junction at the Greenwich Peninsula on the south side provides the right connections?
13. Please use the space below to let us know any additional comments you may have on our proposals for new junctions to link the tunnel to the existing road network:
I am particularly concerned about the impact of increased traffic volume on junctions on the A102 and A2, and on the Lower Lea Crossing, which already struggles to cope with traffic to events at Excel.
14. What are the key issues TfL should address as we continue to develop our proposals for the Silvertown Tunnel? Please feel free to select as many issues as you wish.
[We suggest ticking all available options]
15. We have published a large number of technical reports. These deal with a number of disciplines, including traffic, the environment, optioneering and engineering, amongst others. If you have any comments on our methodology or approach to any of these disciplines, please let us know in the space below.
TfL needs to make these documents more accessible to the interested lay reader. Guidance upon best order to read and a summary of key assumptions and the contents of each document would be helpful.
Please use the space below to let us know any other thoughts you may have.
I strongly feel East and South East London should be better connected. But spending £753 million on this solution that provides only for road transport is a backwards step: this money could be invested in public transport to give us choice and relieve pressure on the roads, meaning less congestion and delays for those that really must drive.
Further information on question 14:
Proposals for a new user charge: I expect to see a full analysis of the impact of user charging on demand for the Silvertown Tunnel.
Construction impacts: What disruption to the road network will building the Silvertown Tunnel cause? What impact will it have on the environment?
Environment impacts: There should be a full investigation into both air and noise pollution impacts, and proof that TfL has been working with local boroughs on these issues.
Traffic impacts of the Silvertown Tunnel and design of new junctions: TfL needs to open its traffic modelling and explain the assumptions used.
Economic benefits of the Silvertown Tunnel: Full economic cases, both for and against the tunnel, should be provided.
Wherever you live, please tell your local councillors, London Assembly members and MP you object to the Silvertown Tunnel. Find them at www.writetothem.com.