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Prescott calls in Thames Gateway bridge

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  • smithx@lineone.net
    Friends of the Earth London Media release Jenny Bates - 07884 003107, jennyb@foe.co.uk Immediate Release: 19 Wednesday 2005 PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO NEW THAMES
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2005
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      Friends of the Earth London Media release
      Jenny Bates - 07884 003107, jennyb@...

      Immediate Release: 19 Wednesday 2005

      PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO NEW THAMES BRIDGE WELCOMED

      Friends of the Earth has welcomed Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott?s
      decision today to hold a Public Inquiry into the controversial 6-lane Thames
      Gateway Bridge.

      Friends of the Earth?s London Regional campaigner Jenny Bates said:

      ?We are delighted that Mr Prescott has called a public inquiry into this
      damaging and unnecessary road bridge. TheThamesGatewayBridgewould bring
      more noise and pollution to people living locally, and result in more traffic
      and congestion on the capital?s roads. We need sustainable solutions to
      London?s transport problems rather than wasting money on a project that
      will only make them worse.?

      A full Public Inquiry will allow a fuller examination of the adverse environmental
      impacts and claimed benefits of this controversial 6-lane road bridge between
      Thamesmead in Greenwich and Beckton in Newham.

      Transport for London (TfL) admits that the proposed scheme would have adverse
      effects. It would:

      · add to breaches of European and Government air quality standards,
      which will affect peoples health particularly children and elderly people;

      · cause noise disturbance to the extent that, according to WHO guidelines,
      people may need to sleep with their windows closed;

      · have "little impact" on traffic flows on existing crossings including
      the Blackwall Tunnel.

      TfL's traffic figures have also been disputed by an independent transport
      consultant who believes that there would be more traffic and congestion
      than TfL concede. This would mean worse adverse environmental effects than
      TfL admit in their Environmental Impact Assessment, and also longer journey
      times meaning claimed accessibility improvements would be less than TfL
      have stated.

      This scheme has so far progressed without adequate public consultation -
      at TfL's 2003 consultation, which the Mayor uses to claim substantial support
      for the scheme, proper traffic figures were not available, and people were
      not offered a choice of scheme. In fact substantial opposition has developed
      to this scheme, and Friends of the EarthLondonhas found that the more people
      find out about the scheme, the less they like it.

      Friends of the Earth London want to see a proper assessment of which transport
      schemes would best help improve transport access for local people without
      adding to the problems of the area in the way that this scheme would.

      For criteria that the Government Office for London had to assess the scheme
      for call-in http://www.go-london.gov.uk/planning/land_use_planning/callinpolicy.asp

      For more key facts on the bridge and the Enviromental Impact Assessment
      see:
      http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/local_groups_and_campaigns/thames_gateway/tgb_eia_did_you_know.html


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