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Mayor of London suffers further blow to Silvertown Tunnel project – South London News

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By Joe Talora, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan is facing a Labour revolt over a controversial East London road project after another borough council voted to oppose it.

Labour-controlled Newham Council voted unanimously on Monday, February 28, to oppose the Silvertown Tunnel – a proposed £2 billion crossing that will link Newham and Greenwich via a road tunnel under the Thames.

At least four Labour councils have already written to the Mayor of London calling on him to cancel the scheme over concerns that it will increase traffic and contribute to worsening air quality.

Speaking on Monday, Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said it is a “moral and health imperative” to oppose the construction of the tunnel and called on Sadiq Khan to cancel the project.

She said: “Recent estimates show at least 115 people die prematurely each year in our borough because of life threatening vehicle fumes; and that we have the highest rate of child hospitalisation for asthma related conditions in the country.

“One in seven (14 per cent) of Newham’s population, including the entire town centres of Stratford, East Ham, Forest Gate and Canning Town are exposed to levels of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that are above the UK limit for human health.

“Not only that, the entire borough exceeds the World Health Organisation guide limit for PM2.5 particulates.

“That’s why it is a moral and health imperative to do all that we can to oppose the Silvertown Tunnel.

“I remain unconvinced with the arguments that the scheme cannot be reversed and call on Transport for London to be transparent about the true costs of cancelling the scheme now and settling with the Riverlinx contractors.

“For the health of our children and residents this must now be an imperative.”

Sadiq Khan has previously said that axing the tunnel “is not an option” as the cost of cancelling the contract “runs to a lot of money”, though this cost is not known to the public.

Mr Khan has also said there is an “urgent need” for another river crossing in east London, and that the Silvertown Tunnel will ease congestion from the nearby Blackwall Tunnel.

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