Enough is enough – sign up, say no to Silvertown Tunnel

So far, Greenwich Council is up to 554 pledges on its campaign to bring more traffic jams and pollution to local streets with a third Blackwall Tunnel.

Greenwich Time, 18 DecemberThe figure was released last week at a council meeting, which included 260 paper responses to its Bridge the Gap campaign, leaving 244 online sign-ups.

The council had been collecting signatures from shoppers in the centre of Woolwich in the run-up to Christmas – indeed, Greenwich Time showed regeneration cabinet member Denise Hyland (the woman who blamed the delays to Greenwich Foot Tunnel on non-existent “hidden structures”) outside Tesco. Wonder why she hasn’t taken her campaign to Greenwich itself yet?

In last week’s meeting, Hyland also branded those who hijacked the council’s attempt to spread its campaign across Twitter as “juvenile individuals”. The quality’s dreadful, but you can hear her talk about it here:

But she insists the names of those who have signed the council’s pledge will remain “confidential information” – despite the fact that this is being used to demonstrate “public support” for the council’s wheeze.

Of course, there’s been no evidence produced by the council for the benefits of a such a tunnel – just a claim that “business and civic leaders” support it, and quotes from cab drivers. Forget kids’ health in Greenwich, a minicab firm in Plumstead can get to London City Airport five minutes quicker!

Yet more of this rubbish is to come, despite the obvious damage to east Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath, Kidbrooke and Eltham more traffic on the A102 and A2 will cause, with whispers that a formal launch is planned for the new year.

Apart from rumours of unhappiness in local Labour parties – will they have the courage to go public? – no politician and no pressure group has stepped forward to champion the cause against the Silvertown Tunnel. Yet every time I’ve mentioned Silvertown on this website, nearly every commenter comes out against it – something that surprises me. Nearly a year ago, 88% of voters came out against the plan in a poll on this website.

What this area needs is a strategy to funnel traffic away from the A2/A102 – not force more traffic up it, through pollution blackspots such as the Woolwich Road flyover, Kidbrooke, and Eltham stations. That could come in various ways – but our first concern should be to protect our neighbourhoods. If nobody else will, then we, the people who’ll have to live with a tunnel, have to do something instead.

I’ve teamed up with Kidbrooke Kite‘s Adam Bienkov, and today, we’re launching the No to Silvertown Tunnel petition at. Please read it, sign it, and share it with friends and family – www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk.

Please also fill in the TfL consultation. I must stress this isn’t a petition for or against any other road crossing, such as a bridge at Thamesmead, axing Dartford tolls or building public transport or cycle/foot crossings. If you have views on those – and hell, there’s loads more sensible ways to solve this problem than the crock Greenwich Council expects us to swallow – then tell the TfL consultation.

No to Silvertown Tunnel is merely to show the Mayor of London that the people of Greenwich and the surrounding areas do not want more traffic on the A102 and A2. It is also to show Greenwich councillors that their Bridge The Gap campaign does not speak for local people. Your name will appear on the website if you wish it to, it won’t if you don’t wish it to. To verify your signature, you’ll need to sign up for a change.org account, although this won’t take a second.

Signing the petition will also generate emails to the mayor, TfL’s consultation team, Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts, Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales and cabinet members in both boroughs.

Please, don’t just think “umm, this is a good idea”. Take a couple of minutes to do something. And if you can spare expertise (poster design, web design) and/or time to spend campaigning in person, then we’d really love your help – email silvertowntunnel[at]yahoo.com. We need all the help we can get against the well-funded Greenwich and Newham council PR machines.

This is going to be a big task – but if we can work together, we can stop this crazy idea. Please sign, wherever you are. If you don’t like it, well, your money’s paying for another petition…


  1. Good. I’ve signed (I tried to last night but there seemed to be a fault). But maybe you can persuade Mr Kite to update his blog from July. Doesn’t quite give the feeling of local activism.

  2. Another tunnel on the peninsular will only increase the temptation to plough a new motorway through ancient Oxleas Wood. Remember the Thames Gateway threat in the 1990s? It’s back with this.

  3. “Another tunnel on the peninsular will only increase the temptation to plough a new motorway through ancient Oxleas Wood. Remember the Thames Gateway threat in the 1990s? It’s back with this.”

    Couldn’t agree more, Ric.

  4. Great idea to set up a counter-petition. It’s disturbing that the Greenwich Time is basically a propaganda piece for this pollution-filled scheme. More roads = more traffic, and where’s it going to go once it gets across the River? Asthma rates amongst children are too high at the moment already, it’s already dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists and the traffic’s pretty bad, crawling through Greenwich town centre or the A2, so imagine if another Blackwall Tunnel gets built!
    Funny they can afford this scheme yet Lewisham A & E is being sacrificed for Queen Elizabeth hospital’s debts. How about we save the millions on this new tunnel and pay it into the hospital – I’m sure most people in Greenwich and Lewisham would prefer that.
    Thanks for making people aware of this issue.

  5. Yes, that’s what we need – a campaign like the Oxleas and Danson Park ones that opposed the previous crossing proposals. Any artistic people out there able to create a ‘say no to the Silvertown Tunnel poster’?

  6. I can help with webby/digital designy stuff to an extent…
    I’m no great artist but I’m OK. 🙂

  7. Have posted details of the petition against the Silvertown tunnel on the forum for GMV residents, so hopefully they will let their voices be heard if they haven’t done so already. Also, if people haven’t done so, I would also suggest getting their views across to the three local councillors – Mary Mills, Dick Quibell and Miranda Williams. Emails are basically “first name”.”last name”@greenwich.gov.uk

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