Silvertown Tunnel proposals a 'missed opportunity'
Greenwich Conservative councillors have called the latest set of proposals for the Silvertown Tunnel a 'missed opportunity' in their response to Transport for London's statutory consultation, which closed last weekend.
In their response, Greenwich Conservatives re-stated their support in principle for the Tunnel, which Conservative councillors believe will bring "significant economic benefits" and a "much-needed improvement to the resilience of our local transport network". Despite this support in principle, the response raises "significant concerns" over several aspects of the current proposals - including on the environmental impact, air and noise pollution, insufficient changes to the existing road network and plans that would see local residents included in tolling arrangements.
In addition, Greenwich Conservatives stated in their response that the current proposals represent "a missed opportunity for a significantly more ambitious, radical solution that would include bringing a new DLR extension to Eltham" which they believe would be "transformative" for the South East London economy.
Conservative councillors believe that Transport for London should halt its current timetable and give formal consideration to the DLR option, which has not been given sufficiently serious consideration. This is in part because Labour-run Greenwich Council has failed to make the case for investment, not even submitting its own externally-commissioned study on the subject for consideration in 2011.
Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of Greenwich Conservatives and former Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, said: "The Silvertown Tunnel will bring significant economic benefits and while we have significant concerns over several aspects of the current proposals, we remain supportive of the Tunnel in principle. However, these plans are a real missed opportunity for a much more radical solution that would finally bring the DLR to Eltham. You only have to look at a transport map to see that our area has suffered from decades of under-investment - and we fear this may be yet another poor decision that will be regretted in the near future.
"It's also time for others to come off the fence. During the General Election I was the only candidate in Greenwich & Woolwich to be clear about my position in favour of the Tunnel, even though this wasn't always the most popular opinion in the room. We know that Labour-run Greenwich council has consistently championed the scheme, but now that more detail has been published, residents across Greenwich & Woolwich have a right to know whether their local Labour ward councillors and their new Labour MP are supporting the Tunnel or not."
Read Greenwich Conservatives' full consultation response here