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news, views and issues around Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath and Woolwich, south-east London – what you won't read in Greenwich Time

Silvertown Tunnel and pollution: Greenwich Council’s dirty secret

with 44 comments

Some of Greenwich’s most high-profile development sites suffer from air pollution far in excess of European limits, research carried out for No to Silvertown Tunnel has revealed.

Volunteers, including myself, used tubes to record the pollution in the air at over 50 locations close to the A102, A2 and A206 for four weeks during June, using similar methods used by Greenwich Council for its own pollution records. Over half the tubes came back with readings over 40 μg/m3, the EU limit.

The Woolwich Road/ Blackwall Lane junction in Greenwich, outside where new homes are now being built by developer Galliford Try, recorded 70 micrograms per cubic metre. The site is opposite the flagship Greenwich Square development, which will include homes, shops and and a leisure centre.

Meanwhile, readings of 50 μg/m3 were recorded at two locations at Greenwich Millennium Village – at the centre, by West Parkside; and at the junction of Bugsby’s Way and Southern Way.

The highest figure recorded, unsurprisingly, was 70.55 μg/m3 at the Woolwich Road flyover, with a reading of 69 μg/ at Farmdale Road, where houses face an A102 slip road.

A pollution tube outside Kidbrooke Park School

High readings were also recorded along the Woolwich Road (64 μg/m3 outside the Rose of Denmark pub in Charlton) and at Blackheath Royal Standard (52 μg/m3 at Westcombe Hill).

With Greenwich Council and London mayor Boris Johnson backing a Silvertown Tunnel, which will attract more traffic to the area, the figures can only get worse.

The figures will be discussed at a public meeting at the Forum at Greenwich, Trafalgar Road, SE10 9EQ on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7pm.

Further south, high readings were recorded in Eltham at Westhorne Avenue, Eltham station and Westmount Road, where the A2 forms a two-lane bottleneck. Local MP Clive Efford supports the Silvertown proposal, despite compelling evidence that it will make traffic in his constituency worse. So do local Conservatives – even though we recorded a big fat 50 μg/m3 outside their local HQ.

Sssh - it's one of Greenwich Council's pollution tubes

Sssh – it’s one of Greenwich Council’s pollution tubes. Readings haven’t been published since 2010.

What’s more, when we contacted Greenwich Council to tell it we intended to place pollution tubes on its lamp posts, we discovered it had been collecting its own statistics since 2005.

But mystifyingly, no figures were published since 2010 – until now. We obtained the results through a Freedom of Information Act request, and have published a full archive on the No to Silvertown Tunnel website.

These borough-wide stats bear out our own research, revealing that the borough’s worst location is outside Plumstead station – possibly due to the bus garage being nearby, but also a regular scene for heavy tailbacks.

Despite the council also pressing for a road bridge at Gallions Reach, it appears to have made little serious attempt to record pollution levels in the Thamesmead and Abbey Wood areas, which would be affected by such a scheme as well as emissions from London City Airport.

The whole borough has been an air quality management zone for 12 years, which makes Greenwich Council’s position on road-building even more mystifying. Its decision to stop publishing air quality reports smacks of carelessness at the very least. Pollution has become the council’s dirty secret.

If you drill down into the statistics, you’ll actually find air quality gradually improving in some areas. But in places where traffic remains heavy, it’s stubbornly awful.

Incidentally, the tubes are very easy to install and relatively cheap – if local groups find Greenwich Council’s response to pollution wanting, it’s simple for them to carry out their own studies, just as we did. Indeed, we were inspired by a study done by the Putney Society – so it should be easy for groups in Greenwich, Blackheath, Eltham and Charlton, or elsewhere, to follow suit.

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Greenwich Council’s pollution readings from May 2013 – you won’t find this on the council’s own website, but you’ll find it all on the No to Silvertown Tunnel site.

Greenwich Council continues to back new road schemes on the grounds that they will take traffic off existing roads – despite a heap of evidence that proves the opposite. Indeed, studies show new roads simply increase traffic by making road travel more attractive.

It also claims economic benefits for new schemes – but it hasn’t been able to produce a shred of evidence that this is the case. And will it take the health costs from the extra pollution caused by yet more traffic on local roads into account?

Even more perplexing is that neighbouring boroughs don’t want Silvertown – leaving Greenwich’s Labour council in a position where it’s just a figleaf for a Conservative mayor’s scheme. If Greenwich opposed it, would Boris really go ahead?

So how can we persuade local decision-makers to wake up and realise they’re backing a scheme would could be disastrous? Well, we thought we’d invite them to our meeting, where they can hear from experts and see what results we got.

Here’s the response from Don Austen, Labour councillor for Glyndon ward.

Don Austen email

Incidentally, Don’s ward not only contains the borough’s filthiest air, his own home is very close to Charlton Village – where air quality also breaks EU rules. We had a few other responses that were nicer, but it’s hard to dispel the feeling that Greenwich’s councillors simply aren’t taking this seriously.

That said, some of the nominees to be Labour’s candidate for for Greenwich & Woolwich are alert to the dangers of blindly following a Conservative mayor’s policy. Lewisham councillor Kevin Bonavia (whose own council opposes Silvertown) voices his concern in his manifesto: “According to a recent GLA report, 150 deaths per year across the borough are caused by air pollution. We shouldn’t be encouraging more traffic in already concentrated areas.”

And yesterday, outsider Kathy Peach took aim not just at the proposal, but the way Greenwich Council has handled it:

I’m not convinced Boris Johnson’s Silvertown Tunnel is the answer. Nor do I believe there’s been an informed democratic debate about it.

I have heard from several quarters that Labour councillors who oppose the scheme have been banned from voicing their opposition in public… the fact that such stories gain traction points to something insular and complacent about our local political culture. We need a breath of fresh air. Let’s get rid of stale tactics and encourage a vigorous inclusive open debate. We need to bring the community along with us – otherwise other parties will jump into the gap.

Hopefully we’ll see Kathy, and Kevin, and others, and hopefully you, down at the Forum tomorrow night. If you’re sceptical, feel free to come along and lob some tough questions.

But if Greenwich councillors won’t listen, and Boris Johnson won’t listen, then we need to find our own way forward – because this is a battle that can be won.

And we might even have some fun on the way. If you want to help, come along tomorrow night.

No to Silvertown Tunnel public meeting: Wednesday 16 October, 7-9pm, Forum at Greenwich, Trafalgar Road, London SE10 9EQ. Speakers are transport consultant John Elliott, the Campaign for Better Transport’s Sian Berry, King’s College London air quality expert Dr Ian Mudway and Clean Air London’s Simon Birkett.

PS. If you have the time, it’s worth reading the 1994 Government report Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic. These studies are backed up by another report, published in 2006 for the Countryside Agency and Campaign to Protect Rural England.

44 Responses

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  1. I just spent an hour on a reasoned and serious comment to go here. wordpress – once again – wouldn’t accept my password and deleted it. Ithink it doesn’t like me calling myself Mary! This is a summary – no time to rewrite it. If you want to talk to me about it, I am, as ever, more than happy

    The only thing banning me from talking about the proposed silvertown tunnel is actually and apparently wordpress, and not the Council.

    But – what I wanted to say, in a lot of detail, is that pollution and the tunnel are linked but different subjects – both should be looked at strategically. And that I was chasing the Council on publication of figures after the CANS site collapsed a couple of years go – sorry – must apologise for forgetting to keep on about it.

    maryorelse

    15 October, 2013 at 9:59 am

  2. The Silvertown Tunnel is inextricably linked with pollution. It isn’t possible to look at the tunnel strategically without considering pollution. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Separating the two is *exactly* where Greenwich council are going wrong on this issue.

    clogsilk

    15 October, 2013 at 10:15 am

  3. But the pollution problem can’t be solved by not having the tunnel – and at the same time there are arguments against the tunnel which are not to do with pollution. You need to take as wide as possible a view on both otherwise you risk thinking you have found a solution when you haven’t.

    maryorelse

    15 October, 2013 at 11:41 am

  4. I think everybody is well aware that there many more facets to the argument against the tunnel than just pollution – the meeting tomorrow night will also cover congestion and induced traffic amongst other things.

    However, the primary focus of tomorrow’s meeting is pollution. We plan to focus on both the results of our own monitoring experiment (which are shocking enough as it is given June is an accepted low pollution month) and also the results of Greenwich Council’s own, excellent monitoring project which for some reason have not been published since 2010.

    There are also pressing questions that must be asked. Were any of those who took the decision to launch the “Bridge the Gap” campaign aware of the council’s results? If not, why not. If so, why were they not released during the campaign when questions were asked of evidence?

    We’re in it for the long haul as these schemes have the potential to drag on for years. We’ll be releasing more research and encouraging debate on the other issues surrounding the tunnel as the months (and years!) go on.

    Mary – I know what you mean about WordPress swallowing posts. Get into the habit of doing a CTRL+C to copy your text before you have to log in!

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 11:57 am

  5. “These borough-wide stats bear out our own research, revealing that the borough’s worst location is outside Plumstead station – possibly due to the bus garage being nearby, but also a regular scene for heavy tailbacks.”

    Greenwich Council’s stats (http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk/our-study/greenwich-borough-data/?sites_id=35) for the Plumstead site (https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?oe=utf-8&q=51.490417+0.083106) are some of those which have seen a steady rise since 2005.

    I have been thinking a lot about this result and I think it may also point to something else. Yes, there are heavy tailbacks here at times, but in the main the traffic is heavy and relatively free-flowing compared to the frequent jams seen around the Blackwall approaches. Tailbacks tend to be a little further west (https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?oe=utf-8&q=51.488064+0.032439) where the monitoring results are around 10μg/m3 lower and slightly decreasing. Almost all of the buses that pass the Plumstead Station site also pass this one.

    Does this in any way counter the view that improving traffic flow decreases pollution? Is there any publicly available research into the emissions from, say, X cars sitting idling for an hour compared to 2X passing through at Y speed unhindered?

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  6. The Burrage Road stats I mention above can be seen at http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk/our-study/greenwich-borough-data/?sites_id=36

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 2:37 pm

  7. I can’t find the figures just at this moment, but I know there are ward-level breakdowns of mortality attributable to air pollution, and Glyndon fares pretty badly.

    Incidentally, this article published today suggests that babies born to mothers in polluted areas are more likely to be low birthweight. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/15/study-air-pollution-traffic-low-birthweight Pollution is having an impact right across the life course.

    clogsilk

    15 October, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  8. Some pretty horrific readings, not surprising but certainly confirming what we as locals can guess with the volume of traffic converging on us. What actually happened to the tubes closest to me at Old Woolwich Road/Christchurch Way and Pelton Road? Were they stolen? Was this our council leader sneaking out in the dead of night in an act of sabotage?
    As someone who has cycled daily down the A20 from Chislehurst for ‘decades’ now I could vouch for the relatively low readings along my route, past the old Ferrier (I refuse to call it Kidbrooke Village) and Thomas Tallis and across to Blackheath/Greenwich Park. But I feel sorry for cyclists having to use the ‘red’ zones, even though apparently they are less at risk than car drivers sitting in it! One spot which would register high readings on my route would be junction Westhorne Ave and A20 (the old Cliftons roundabout)- I can smell the diesel from about 100m from the junction.
    A big ‘Well done’ to you guys for the tremendous work here. There’s hope for us yet with people like you in Greenwich.

    derek small

    15 October, 2013 at 2:55 pm

  9. Thanks Derek.

    Greenwich has figures available for Cliftons, although there are large gaps in the data – http://www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk/our-study/greenwich-borough-data/?sites_id=39

    I would assume the council has the same problem with tube theft that we had and not any other nefarious reason for the missing data.

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 2:59 pm

  10. Clare, is ths it? http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Health_Study_%20Report.pdf (Page 27)

    Glyndon is one of the worst alongside Thamesmead Moorings, Woolwich Common and Woolwich Riverside

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 3:02 pm

  11. Yes, that’s it. Don’t forget that the number of attributable deaths will vary according to the size of the ward (something other air pollution campaigners seem to have forgotten…) Glyndon has the equal second highest number of deaths per ward in the borough but 6th highest number adjusted for the population of the ward: “beaten” by Eltham South, Woolwich Common, Blackheath Westcombe, Eltham West and Greenwich West, according to these data. (I analysed the data myself a while back, but I’ve, frustratingly, mislaid the work I did.)

    clogsilk

    15 October, 2013 at 3:12 pm

  12. It’s worth also pointing out that figures in the range 30-39 on the map, though marked green, are considered to have moderate pollution and it’s likely that if the readings had been taken in winter, some of them would have tipped into the 40+ category, making them red on these maps. There are still cumulative low-level effects on people’s health in this pollution range that build up to making it still a serious problem.

    clogsilk

    15 October, 2013 at 3:15 pm

  13. I guess some areas will clear more quickly than others – because of wind and the geography. Clearly many of the worst areas are in low lying ex-marshland. I know that wind direction and speeds are measured in some parts of the Borough – on the Peninsula they used to be very relevant to the smell from the old glucose refinery and it was often unpredictable where complaints about it would originate from – sometimes the smell would turn out to come from somewhere else down or across the river High and big buildings also interfere with air movements and they need to be factored in.

    maryorelse

    15 October, 2013 at 3:18 pm

  14. These figures make alarming reading. Mary is quite right that there are big problems here and a balancing act to be done, but if Don Austen’s reply is something to go by, the public health case is not being given its proper weight.

    Maggy May

    15 October, 2013 at 3:20 pm

  15. Stewart. Your question about improving traffic flow as a way to reduce pollution is critical. It is almost always used by proponents of increased traffic capacity. I believe Prof. Roy Harrison (r.m.harrison@bham.ac.uk) could point to published studies on the trade-off between speed and density of traffic flow.
    Ian

    Ian

    15 October, 2013 at 4:11 pm

  16. Thanks Ian. Your comment put me on the right track.

    I have now found Guldmann and Kim’s “URBAN TRANSPORTATION NETWORK DESIGN, TRAFFIC ALLOCATION, AND AIR QUALITY CONTROL: AN INTEGRATED OPTIMIZATION APPROACH” from 1996 which appears to address some of the ways to calculate this.

    http://facweb.arch.ohio-state.edu/jguldmann/research/Urb_trans_net.pdf

    Stewart

    15 October, 2013 at 5:32 pm

  17. C(x,θ) □(=Ql/u)√ 2/π 1/cos⁡θσz(x⁄cos⁡θ ) Duh! ;-)

    Franklin

    15 October, 2013 at 5:51 pm

  18. Stewart
    “Is there any publicly available research into the emissions from, say, X cars sitting idling for an hour compared to 2X passing through at Y speed unhindered?”

    Not that I can find, so I made some up on the back of an envelope. Say a vehicle uses a litre an hour idling, and 30mpg (9.4ltr/100km) moving, and peak flow NB is 3500 vehicles per hour, and there are about 400 vehicles to a stationary km. That makes the free-flowing consumption 329 litres and the car park 400. Not very different. I’ve no idea whether emissions are a simple function of fuel consumption, or how much worse stop-start shuffling is, and how many stop/start engines and hybrids there are, but it’s a misconception to think free-flowing traffic good, congestion bad from a pollution perspective.

    Sven Ellis

    16 October, 2013 at 10:45 am

  19. Thanks Sven

    Add in a doubling of capacity, reduced to 50% by tolling, and that would mean a 23.4% increase in pollution in the short-term. Of course, pressure would grow to use that extra capacity and your figures would indicate 64.5% in the medium-to-long-term.

    This would only be for the short stretch that was free-flowing as the jams would be pushed further back on to the approach roads.

    Stewart

    16 October, 2013 at 11:11 am

  20. The problem with Sven’s back-of-the-envelope calculation is that stop-start traffic does of course produce significantly higher emissions (and consumption) than idling traffic.

    In my view there’s no need to try to work out the emissions of stop-start traffic: the baseline is what we currently have, around 70 μg/m3 NO2.

    TfL’s most recent forecast for 2021 peak demand for Blackwall NB only is 4,250 cars per hour. Increase that by 50% as a result of induced traffic (with the increase reduced by half by tolls), giving us 6,375 cars per hour NB.

    It should be pretty easy to calculate the emissions of 6,375 cars per hour in free-flowing traffic. Euro 4 standard (from 2005) for NOx emissions was .250 g/km, which gives us NOx emissions of roughly 1600 g/km per hour. Double that to include the (free-flowing) southbound to 3200 g/km/hr.

    The one km of the A2/A102M south of the river (to a height of 10m and across a width of 100m) is 1 million cubic metres into which cars would be emitting that 3200 g/hr – which gives us NOx emissions of 3,200 μg/m3 per hour (at peak times).

    Then all you have to do is convert NOx to NO2 using this formula: NO2(road) = ((-0.068 x Ln(NOx(total) ))+0.53) x NOx(road) – and work out the diffusion rates!…

    Which is why we need to have proper traffic modelling and environmental impact assessments done urgently.

    Franklin

    16 October, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  21. Fanklin – I agree. We need firm facts and figures, not conjecture.

    It does strike me as very telling that, despite the frequent argument that increasing capacity decreases pollution and congestion, I can find no published research that this is in fact the case.

    Stewart

    16 October, 2013 at 1:41 pm

  22. As well as road traffic pollution there is air traffic pollution to be considered. Since 2012 there has been a massive increase in air traffic over Greenwich that the News Shopper has highlighted several times. It is all to do with Heathrow and any expansion there is going to have an impact on all south east London. And more planes=more pollution.

    Andy

    17 October, 2013 at 9:50 am

  23. Andy. I do agree that pollution is serious, and a new road crossing of the river won’t help. But we have to argue with facts. What “massive” increase in air traffic over our area? Heathrow has been running at 98% capacity for years so there simply isn’t any potential for a massive increase unless/until an extra runway is built. LCY volume isnt much increased. Why do you think it’s different in last year?

    IslandDweller

    17 October, 2013 at 11:20 am

  24. The Heathrow relief trials for starters. These have been going on since last year and mean that flights into LHR are routed from the east and not the west. This includes the 17 early morning arrivals from the far east getting in from 4.30 onwards. Then at 90 second interval the planes continue to come in. They fly in over Charlton, turn west and continue over Greenwich Park so maybe as an Islander you don’t hear it. It has been noticeable enough to prompt a lot of comment to our MP who is investigating. And of course, a third runway is the most likely outcome of the Davies investigations. I am sure that LHR can argue that the west of London is getting such relief that a third runway will be fine. And of course all they have done is sent the noise elsewhere, and of course the pollution. Hope that clarifies it. Heathrow and air transport policy include us, unfortunately,

    Andy

    17 October, 2013 at 3:51 pm

  25. The Heathrow ‘Early Morning Noise Respite Trial’ ended in March.

    http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/100-000-get-noise-respite-from-night-flights-625.aspx

    But I agree that they were a disaster for Greenwich – which is one of many reasons I back the estuary airport proposal (the ONLY Boris-backed policy I support, by the way).

    Franklin

    17 October, 2013 at 4:11 pm

  26. They did indeed finish OFFICIALLY as you say but the planes continued – which is why people have been complaining in large numbers to Nick Raynsford.

    Andy

    17 October, 2013 at 4:24 pm

  27. Really sorry I couldn’t attend the meeting last night, I’m still recovering from surgery.

    Re LHR, I used to live in the Far East and nearly all red-eye flights came in over Greenwich. I moved to Charlton in 1999 knowing it was on the flight path…..but let’s not get side-tracked.

    Have the council been informed in any formal way about the readings? Do they have any response apart from to say, the inevitable (and incorrect), “This shows why we need a new tunnel.”

    Also, does anyone know who these 76 percent of people who back the tunnel are? Men of Kent perhaps?

    Chris

    17 October, 2013 at 6:12 pm

  28. Franklin, Boris’s Thames Estuary proposal would be a catastrophe for the environment, cost £billions, take decades, involve massive infrastructure/road building and even then I doubt planes would suddenly stop overflying London. We’d be better off avoiding another grotesque mega-project for the South east and either try to reduce some of these flights (how many are really necessary?) or look at augmenting local airports in other regions – surely the UK is more than just the SE corner!

    Joe

    17 October, 2013 at 11:03 pm

  29. Joe –

    Heathrow is already a catastrophe for the environment and a third runway would also cost £billions and take decades.

    In addition, Heathrow noise pollution blights the lives of millions of Londoners, and that would get significantly worse with a third runway.

    Moreover, it’s a major security risk to have more than a thousand planes per day flying directly over central London.

    The estuary airport would solve these problems.

    And there’s no reason that it would require a major roads-building exercise if the high-speed rail connection is good enough.

    I totally agree that it would be even better if people flew less, but that just isn’t going to happen.

    Franklin

    18 October, 2013 at 8:56 am

  30. I think a lot of us would agree that too much aviation is a disaster but realistically its not going to stop. The problem with Boris Island is a very practical one. FOG. Each foggy day we get brings London City to a standstill, halts the Woolwich Ferry and we’ve had the problems with a mass pile-up at Sheppey. A major air hub having to close down like that would be a big embarrassment on the world stage and there would be financial implications too. So however much I dislike the idea the possibility of Heathrow expansion remains. And this is where we get back to the Silvertown Link. If my information is right Greenwich Council is leaving it to a think tank to come up with a policy on aviation and is only concerned that its transport links can cope with wherever the expansion takes place.

    Andy

    18 October, 2013 at 9:24 am

  31. Franklin, the estuary airport proposal simply ignores the many thousands of wintering and migrating birds that use the area, so if you care at all about conservation, it’s a non-starter. I suppose we could just destroy what’s left of our wildlife (and other countries’ wildlife – much of it migrates to or from other countries) and wild spaces so some businessmen can hold conferences in person rather than online, but it’s a hell of a price to pay. Ask the RSPB for their views on this, it’s not just me saying it.

    In addition, thousands of wintering and migrating birds plus passenger planes = likely disaster from bird strikes and a security risk that is unacceptable. Even if you somehow remove all the birds from the site, migrants will still travel through the area and it will never be safe.

    Clearly aircraft noise is a serious issue, but building yet another London-centred air hub alongside City, Gatwick, Luton, Heathrow is unlikely to reduce that. It’s like more roads, they just attract more traffic, so we need more lateral thinking.

    You say Heathrow is already a catastrophe for the environment. Fair enough, but why build what is effectively another one?? I doubt Heathrow will be given over to peaceful cul-de-sacs once a new massive airport is finally built.

    It is highly unlikely that it will require only high speed rail – there will need to be all the usual associated infrastructure such as major roads, car parks, shops supply depots and this will extend over a large area.

    And as Andy mentions, there’s the issue of fog too!

    Just saying people aren’t going to fly less is a cop out – Boris island isn’t built yet, so we still have many years to think more intelligently about it rather than building over even more of our dwindling wildlife habitat.

    Joe

    18 October, 2013 at 11:29 am

  32. Well said Joe

    Andy

    18 October, 2013 at 11:38 am

  33. Andy, Joe –

    I feel a bit guilty about hijacking Darryl’s post on Silvertown to talk about airports, so won’t make any more comments about it (after this one), and Darryl should feel free to delete this if he wants to.

    Andy, do you have, or can you point me to, any actual analysis on fog in the estuary (number of days an estuary airport would be closed in comparison to the number of days that Heathrow is closed by fog – which does happen and isn’t an “international embarrassment”)?

    Joe, likewise for the impact of an estuary airport on migratory birds? I’ve been hunting for this for some time and haven’t come across any hard evidence. I’m a member of the RSPB so am of course aware of their objections, but as far as I know there isn’t any actual modelling or EIA to back up their concerns.

    Just to be clear, I support the total closure of Heathrow. This would obviously have to happen over a long time-scale – 20-30 years – but would have the ultimate impact of shifting the economic centre of gravity from west to east, creating tens of thousands of new jobs in an area suffering from high relative deprivation and high structural unemployment.

    At the end of the day, as Jack Aubrey says, we have to choose the lesser of two weevils. I’d rather have a massive hub airport to the east of London than a massive hub airport to the west – which is precisely what we’re going to get if we reject the estuary option.

    Franklin

    18 October, 2013 at 3:58 pm

  34. Interesting figures but you’ve failed to say what you are actually measuring. Is it a chemical, particulates – if so then what size or something else? As it stands, it’s meaningless I’m afraid.
    Some call CO2 pollution when it is in fact plant food.

    Geoff

    18 October, 2013 at 4:37 pm

  35. Geoff –

    It’s NO2, as is made patently obvious in the many links to the campaign’s website.

    Franklin

    18 October, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  36. Yes, we’d better stop talking about Boris island, but if I may here’s just one last thing to wrap up, in reply to Franklin.

    The RSPB’s Chris Corrigan say of the potential airport site: “It is home to an immense number of birds and other wildlife. You cannot recreate the estuary nor move on the native or migratory wildlife that relies on it for food and shelter.”
    “I’m sure the Mayor doesn’t want to go down in history as the man who decimated not just birds in the Thames, but global species too, while putting air passengers lives at risk due to bird strike.

    The RSPB’s Head of Conservation Policy, Dr Sue Armstrong-Brown, said: “Our fierce defence of the Thames Estuary has been recognised by the Transport Select Committee and we welcome their recommendations not to allow the development of an airport there. However, the committee’s report goes on to state that there is a need to expand aviation in the southeast of England. It goes further and supports expansion at Heathrow. We are as opposed to that as we are to the inappropriate development of the Thames Estuary.”

    This from Friends of the Earth’s Andy Atkins: “London doesn’t need another hub airport – the capital already has more flights to the world’s main business destinations than our European neighbours.

    A recent submission to the UK Government of a new report commissioned by the RSPB with HACAN and WWF from CE Delft. The study found that once a city reaches a certain level of “connectedness” further expansion is unlikely to significantly affect the economy. London already has six airports with seven runways and more flights than any other place in the world; as connected as it gets.

    Here’s an interesting link to some of the effects on the wildlife that mentions the various specially protected designations given to the area:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2012/jan/18/boris-island-airport-impact-wildlife

    Joe

    18 October, 2013 at 9:00 pm

  37. Joe

    How can you possibly doubt Boris’s well thought out plans for London’s transport infrastructure? This is the man that brought us the much needed cable car – providing a desperately needed new route to literally 10s of people a day.

    Mr Eeee

    19 October, 2013 at 12:07 am

  38. The Silvertown Tunnel project is very much linked in with Greenwich being “airport expansion ready” wherever it happens east or west.. Road relief schemes always end up attracting even more traffic and the clean technology never keeps up so pollution always increases. Mentioning airports in this discussion seems ok to me. SIlvertown is part of a bigger picture not an isolated project.

    Bird strikes are interesting. It is such an issue even at City that they were consulted over the planning application for the tower blocks that will over shadow the Ecology Park. They were ok with the scheme if bird unfriendly planting was included as a safety measure. Put an airport on the estuary and the bird unfriendly tactics would have to increase.

    Fog. The last time I heard of Heathrow being shut down completely was down to winter conditions. Airports on the continent did as well. I listen to the travel news every morning. The Woolwich ferry has already shut down several times this autumn and so has City but not Heathrow. No better evidence than this to offer.

    Andy

    19 October, 2013 at 9:33 am

  39. There is also a massive democratic hole in Boris Island, and that is that none of the three directly effected councils have supported the building of the airport, Kent, Medway and Essex council are violently opposed to the airport in any form.

    Boris seems to think he’s mayor for the south east

    Joel

    19 October, 2013 at 7:17 pm

  40. Another estuary problem is the old World War 11 munitions ship down there with its cargo still aboard. Not sure how a lot of disintegrating explosive is made safe.

    Andy

    20 October, 2013 at 4:09 pm

  41. Are there any usage or EIA studies on why car drivers are using the local river crossings in such numbers (eg Blackwall Tunnel) and if there really are any viable alternatives? How many drivers could complete their journey and its purpose by non polluting public transport? It’s otherwise pointless to wish away cars.
    The population of this area is increasing rapidly, which will lead to yet more cars. I can only speak for my own (cyclist, with occasional car use) and those I know’s usage of the BwT- to reach the M11 or north circular , north M25. Tradesmen use it in numbers daily for work north of the river, for which there’s no alternative either.
    How does our air quality compare with SW London, where there are several bridge options for crossing the Thames by car? Is pollution worse, better or the same with bridge crossings or tunnels?
    As posters have said above, the air quality of free flowing and congested traffic needs to be compared and contrasted. It would be useful to do this locally IMHO.
    Plus, with the focus on the proposed new tunnel, the current air quality readings are very worrying- are there any plans to tackle this as it is?

    The arguments I’m hearing are so dichotomised into the pro-car, pro-tunnel group and the anti-car, anti-tunnel group. Is there no way at all to have cleaner air and another river crossing for the inevitable cars?

    Kate

    21 October, 2013 at 9:14 am

  42. Just noticed an advert in the sunny Greenwich Times which explains why the Silvertown Tunnel is needed – so that N. Londoners can visit the proposed new Ikea on the Peninsula!! They’ve a public meeting on the 9th Nov to present the proposals.

    Seriously, has any work been done on the traffic impacts of re-siting Sainsbury’s, bringing in Ikea, etc? Access to North Greenwich tube was set up to favour public transport, but that now seems pointless given the growth in use of O2, and developments like these.

    David N

    1 November, 2013 at 1:33 pm

  43. […] The No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign, of which I’m a part, is going to be running a new pollution study over a wider area early in the new year. If you can spare either a) time to help put up and take […]

  44. […] There were also dreadful results right along the A2 through Deptford and New Cross, and along the A206 through Charlton and Greenwich – the latter just as it was when we did a similar study last year. […]


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