Prescott calls in Thames Gateway bridge
- 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
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
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
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