Two weeks to save our borough: Why I'm proud to win a "Clean Air in Cities 2014" award

stewart-christie-1.pngToday I awoke to the news that I'd won a "Clean Air in Cities 2014" award by the Clean Air in Londoncampaign and I couldn't think of a better 40th birthday present.

It's been a long journey over the last few years since the plans for the Silvertown Tunnel and Gallions Bridgebegan to gain traction. It's been a team effort and apart from Darryl Chamberlain and Alan Haughton (who also won "Clean Air in Cities 2014" awards) there are many people from across east and south-east London, and beyond, who have helped along the way.

People from all parties and, most importantly, none. People who are proud to say "No to Silvertown Tunnel" or "Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart" despite the perception that popular opinion is against them.

As part of the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign I helped monitor NO2 air pollution in our area last summer, and again in January this year. The results are shocking - almost every location was above the yearly 40 μg/m3 limit for NO2.

no-to-silvertown-no2-air-pollution-january-2014-small.pngPro-crossings campaigners hold up increased capacity as the solution to the pollution problem but both Newham's Economic Impact Assessment of Gallions and Greenwich Labour's own suppressed documents point to increased congestion, traffic and pollution for local residents.

Some of the same people who are talking up the need for these crossings are also the same people who have vested interests in them going ahead.

Taking Newham's additional bridge traffic forecasts for 2021 and overlaying the current air pollution figures shows the scale of the problem we'll face.

2021-traffic-vs-2014-air-pollution.pngThe air we breathe is now steadily moving up the news agenda, especially in London. After having the chance to speak to people on the doorstep over the last few months it has also become increasingly clear that many are acutely aware of the problems we face here in Greenwich Borough, despite what Greenwich Labour's "Bridge the Gap" propaganda would have you believe. We need to think about a 21st century solution that encompasses cleaner buses, better public transport and smarter planning. We need more job creation in our borough to avoid the need to travel across London. We need to convince others that we're not their rat-run.

With projects like Silvertown designated as a "Nationally Strategic Infrastructure Project", and thus not subject to the rigours of a full Public Inquiry, the local elections on May 22nd may be your last chance to ensure you have elected representation that is opposed to the current plans.

This is the single most important issue in our area and every decision that has to be taken in our borough over the next four years will be directly affected by what happens with Silvertown and Gallions.

If a local council candidate comes knocking remember to ask them where they stand, how they voted and where they've spoken out in public. You might be shocked at what you find. The local Liberal Democrats have been actively campaigning, in public, against both of these crossings since last year after fully discussing the available evidence.

Make no mistake - we have two weeks to save our borough.


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Say "no" to the Silvertown Tunnel

I'm saying "no" to the Silvertown Tunnel. Will you?