24 April 2013
Friends of the Earth has asked the High Court to judicially review Transport for London’s consultation process over its controversial plans to build two new River Thames road crossings, the environment charity said today (Wednesday 24 April 2003).
Transport for London (TfL) is planning to build two new Thames crossings for vehicles – a 4-lane tunnel by the Blackwall Tunnel, and a ferry, bridge or tunnel at Gallions Reach.
But Friends of the Earth says the consultation was flawed because the process it followed was unfair. In particular:
• TfL published a document late in the process without allowing adequate time to respond to it. This revealed TfL had considered different strategic options including non-road building ones;
• TfL failed to give adequate reasons for the options it was consulting on nor did it invite views on how it had selected those, or rejected others.
Friends of the Earth’s London Campaigner Jenny Bates said:
“We believe Transport for London’s consultation was flawed and unfair, so we’ve asked the High Court to intervene.
“More traffic from the Mayor’s controversial river crossings would have a damaging impact on the health and environment of local people – communities must be given a proper chance to comment on these plans.
“Air quality in London kills thousands of people each year, mainly because of vehicle pollution – Boris Johnson should be doing more to tackle this national scandal, instead of increasing traffic with new Thames vehicle crossings.”
Notes to editors:
1. Friends of the Earth filed papers requesting a Judicial Review earlier this month.
2. If successful a Judicial Review could quash the recent consultation and force a new one to take place based on the new documentation, allowing people to comment on TfL’s reasoning for rejecting non-road options.
4. London Air’s website shows NO2 air pollution already exceeds EU legal limits all around the area of the proposed river crossings: A GLA study revealed 4,267 deaths were attributable to long-term exposure to particle air pollution in 2008.
5. The Kings College London EXHALE project is studying the effect of air pollution on the developing lungs of children in East London.
While the Mayor’s Environment Advisor has said that school children may have to be kept indoors when air pollution is bad.
6. Boris Johnson previously scrapped the Thames Gateway road bridge (TGB) at Gallions Reach, after the Inspector at the Public Inquiry found it unacceptable to worsen air pollution where it was already a problem.
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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust