The decision by the government to support the Mayor of London’s new road tunnel under the Thames is a blow to the thousands of people who will be impacted by the pollution it generates. New roads create new traffic and big new roads like this create a lot of new traffic. Successive Mayor’s have failed to deal with air pollution, this new road will make things worse.
The Mayor’s justification for the road is that the tolls will keep a cap on the vehicle numbers, but that hasn’t stopped millions of cars using the Dartford Crossing each year and these tolls won’t stop traffic jams forming in east London.
Some of the most deprived communities in east London, who do not drive, will have their lives and health blighted by this new road. The talk of a special bus for cyclists is a gimmick, if the Mayor really wanted to help cyclists he should cancel the road and use the money to build some more segregated cycle lanes intead.
This road belongs to a 1960s vision of London dominated by big roads, where everyone has a car. The reality is a thriving, busy city where fewer people drive, more people cycle and public transport is the most sensible way of getting around.
Local people and environmentalists have fought off three attempts to build this road crossing and I still hope the Mayor will junk the plans.