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Re: Beckton to Thamesmead bridge?

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  • masonb
    Thanks for that reassuring clarification, much better than what I heard. Barry ... From: Cllr Alex Grant To: masonb Cc: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com Sent:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2002
      Thanks for that reassuring clarification, much better than what I heard.
      ----- Original Message -----
      To: masonb
      Sent: Friday, November 29, 2002 9:06 PM
      Subject: Re: Beckton to Thamesmead bridge?


      Sorry to nit-pick but I think you have rather misrepresented my contribution to this meeting.

      I did not say simply "We support the bridge". I said that while the council supported the idea of a new crossing in principle - to redress the shortage of river crossings (both road and public transport) in east London as compared to West - we would want to consider the details carefully including the width, health impact and traffic generation projections. We haven't seen a concrete plan until this month.

      Council will not blindly accept whatever is consulted upon but will look at proposal carefully and comment in usual way.

      The council's environment, regeneration and development scrutiny panel (which I chair) will also want to consider the proposal.

      Best wishes

      Alex Grant

      masonb wrote:

      Here's some too quick notes I took at last night's meeting about the new bridge. Let's discuss it at our next meeting:Wednesday 4 December.I'll try and get a TfL speaker for that meet. Martin?Great venue last night. Terrible bike parking. Barry07905 889 005 
      London Thames Gateway Forum

      The Challenge of the New River Crossings <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

       Meeting: Monday 25 November. 7pm

      Room 9, House of Commons

       John Austin, Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, was chairing the meeting and said that, although he was opposed to the planned East London River Crossing, he was a neutral chair. Transport for London would speak first. Then Susan Kramer with a personal view (LibDem MP for Richmond and dissenting TfL Board Member). Then Professors John Whitelegg and John Adams. The meeting was timetabled and due to end at 9pm.


       Barry Broe – TfL Director of Planning

      Bridget Rosewell – GLA Economist

      Martin Stuckey – Thames Gateway Bridge Project Manager

      BB: Thames Gateway is the largest growth area in Europe. BR will talk about the amount of social deprivation in the area. The TGB will create 26,000 jobs. 88% of the bridges new capacity will be for public transport. Of the 6 lanes, 2 will be for buses, bikes and pedestrians. The latest estimate is £353m, and rising.It will be tolled to limit long distant travelling by cars etc. It links Beckton and Thamesmead and the 2 new waterfront transit systems on each side of the Thames. 98% of the traffic that uses the new bridge will be from the 6 adjoining local boroughs. £35m will be spent on the new East London Waterfront Transit that opens in 2006. £25m on Greenwich’s that opens 2008. Without the new bridge much private vehicle travel will be suppressed, and the economy likewise.

      MS: the way forward is becoming clear. Stakeholders will be consulted in February 2003. The public in June 2003. Local businesses and boroughs all want the project. Feedback from local communities is 80% favourable. Impact studies will now start on traffic, visual, environmental issues. Oxleas Wood, Rainham Marshes and Woodlands Farm will remain fully protected. Local tolling will limit traffic. By October 2003 the bridge design will be finalised. Work starts in 2007, it opens in 2010.

      Question. Dr Barry Grey (People Against the River Crossing and respiratory consultant): the crossing has been rejected in 3 official reports by the GLC and DTp, its traffic generation will be unacceptable. It is deceitful rubbishto say the bridge will be used by mostly local traffic. And whatever happened to Government traffic reduction and health impact policies? The London Mayor is mandated to reduce traffic. Why is he decongesting central

      London and stimulating traffic to the east?

      Question. Jenny Bates. Greenwich Friends of the Earth. When does consultation start?

      TfL: there will be very full consultation and health and traffic impact assessments.

      Question: Tom Wednesday (?). Dissenting TfL Board member. I’m very against even more 40 tonne lorries in the area. Public transport must be the answer. Why is that hundreds of millions of pounds can always for found for road schemes, and not public transport schemes?

      Question: ex GLC member. Better local access is essential. The DLR should extend to Thamesmead and river services hugely improved.

      Question. The Thames Society. Our river is only ever mentioned as a barrier. It should be a highway. The scoping of much improved river services must start now.

      TfL: the project is about regenerating the area with jobs through better crossings.

       Susan Kramer, Dissenting TfL member: the TfL Board was split down the middle on this two weeks ago. Ken, the Mayor, then voted for the crossing and swung the decision. This is not the local bridge TfL say it is. It’s a 4 lane motorway link between the A2 and A13. Canary Wharf has boomed, but not helped the locals much. Staff are mostly bussed in from Essex. And for TfL to claim that only 12% of use will be by private vehicles is ludicrous. Richmond (SK’s constituency) has outstanding public transport links and horrendous roads, yet is booming. We have in Thames Gateway an amazing opportunity to create a sustainable city the area of Tokyo. And yet all we’re getting is 1960/70s new town development planning that has failed so badly in the past. The new bridge will be like west London’s westway. Park Royal there stays poor and deprived as polluting traffic roars through and over it. It’s lack of education and opportunity that hold people back, not easy access.

       Question. Why on earth do we need 17m more roads trips a year into Greenwich, the third most polluted borough in London?

       Alex Grant: I’m chair of Greenwich Council’s Environmental Committee. We support the new bridge.

       Question: and don’t forget the A2 goes to Cliffe, and the new airport?!

       Professor John Whitelegg (Leader of the Implementing Sustainability Group, Stockholm Environment Group. And University of York): I agree the need for more jobs locally, and for less travel, and improved health, and more cycling, more walking, and more public transport. Do big projects create jobs? 8 official Government reports since 1977 say No. The 1994 Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution showed that road building does not necessarily lead to growth. “Good roads can speed the decline of less prosperous areas”. There is no evidence anywhere of a simple link between improved accessibility and economic performance. In 1999 the National Audit Office and English Partnerships estimated the cost of creating a new job to be £10,000. Actual costs then were around £23,000. 

       The National Audit Office looked at the Limehouse Link in 1995 and found there was no acceptable method of appraising road schemes to inner city regeneration. But we know a lot about transport and social exclusion. Kids from deprived areas are 5 times more likely to be involved in road traffic incidents than their wealthler peers. More traffic equals more health problems. The new crossing will generate extra traffic. Belfasts similar Lagan Bridge in 1995 increased local volumes by 13%. But access is essential to modern life. Walking and cycling can make up 30% of all trips...but not in London because conditions are so bad: traffic speeds, HGV’s. Public transport use and access depends on frequency, space, cost and security. We need to get these factors right. 

       The bridge planning process is so deficient. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. The community has not been asked. DETR in 1998 set down the general consultation ground rules, they’ve been ignored. There’s been no health impact assessment. There’s been no parity of time and costs for exploring other options. The process is deeply flawed. The aim is to get commitment to big infrastructure and more traffic. The poor will suffer even more.

       Professor John Adams: University College. I’ve got 3 qualifications. I spoke at the Royal Society of Arts debate in favour of the motion that Cars Kill Cities. My seconder was Stephen Norris! I also wrote the Social Consequences of Hyper-mobility. So I recognise tonight yet more road growth nonsense from TfL on the sort that’s been pumped out for 30 years. Remember that in 1950 in the UK each of us travelled 5 miles a day on average. 30 miles a day now. 60 in 2025. This has surely got to stop. We are told that travel knits communities together. It doesn’t. There are no communities for the hyper-mobile. We don’t know our neighbours. We need to get away from huge schemes whose aim is simply to save the motorist time.

       Question. The Blackwall Tunnel didn’t regenerate Greenwich Peninsula. And remember that 30% of Greenwich has no car.

       Question. Paul Weburne. I’m from Eltham. All of Greenwich transport plans are in the north of the borough. More railways and the DLR should head south.

       Question. Barry Grey: this new bridge is part of Ringway 2. A new motorway box. We do not need more roads or more traffic.

       Question: Paul Aylot. Beckton. The area is very congested, we do need a new pedestrian bridge.

       Professor Whitelegg: we need more pulbic transport options. The river must not be seen as a barrier. It’s an artery. Sydney hs wonderful ferries.

       Professor Adams: we’re seeing a rerun of M25 planning tactiocs here. That vast scheme saw no public inquiry, simply local and uncoordinated ones.

       Question. Dennis Robinson, GLA LibDems: why is the waterfront transit a bus not a tram?

       Question: Bexley Local Agenda 21 group: have yet to be invited to comment.

       Question: Kenneth Hobday. Abbey Wood: we must all now put pressure on Ken Livingstone against the bridge.

       At 9pm John Austin stopped the meeting. Jeremy Cotton of the London Thames Gateway Forum thanked all those who helped him organise this useful evening. Notes of the meeting would be circulated and another meeting organised in due course.


      26 November 2002

      07905 889 005



      London Thames Gateway Forum contact details:

      LTGF, Brady Centre, 192 Hanbury Street, London E1 5HU

      020 7377 1822


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