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Thames Gateway Bridge - Government decision due soon

1 May 2007
Advance media notice from Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000

Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000 [1] oppose the Thames Gateway Bridge (TGB), saying that it will lead to more traffic, worse air and noise pollution, and increased emissions of climate changing pollution [2].

The Government has been considering the Inspectors’ report following a year-long public inquiry and new information that has come to light since the end of the inquiry into Transport for London’s (TfL’s) proposals for the TGB [3]. The Government now has a number of options in addition to approving or rejecting the bridge outright [4].

Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000, working with local communities on both sides of the river, have called for the TGB to be rejected.

Friends of the Earth London Campaigns Co-ordinator, Jenny Bates, said:

"This is a key test of the Government’s commitment to tackling climate change. The Government must reject the Thames Gateway Bridge and insist that the area is developed sustainably. This bridge will do little to regenerate the local area. Instead it will lead to more traffic, more air and noise pollution and increase emissions of carbon dioxide. There are better ways to help the local area and develop the Thames Gateway sustainably."

Richard Bourn, London Campaigner at Transport 2000, said:

"Since the Mayor took office in 2000, London has won international acclaim for its policies to reduce traffic and improve public transport, walking and cycling. This is part of what is making London a vibrant, interesting city. It would be absurd if the Thames Gateway in East London, one of the largest regeneration areas in Europe, were now to be developed along the old discredited, car-dependent lines. London deserves a more progressive and imaginative approach than that."

Notes to editors

[1] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

[2] A media briefing (April 2007) can be found here giving background information on the scheme, the public inquiry and reasons why Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000 oppose the scheme.

[3] The Government has been considering new information which has come to light since the end of the inquiry including information from Friends of the Earth, Transport 2000 and a group of five experts covering issues of climate change and local traffic effects. The Government may decide that this new information needs to be considered by the parties to the inquiry.

[4] The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has several options:

 

  • Reject the scheme outright
  • Approve the scheme outright
  • Be minded to reject the scheme, but say further information is needed
  • Be minded to approve the scheme, but say further information is needed

If more information were needed, the DCLG could announce that it would:

 

 

  • "Refer back" to the parties to the inquiry for written comments on new information that has arisen since the end of the inquiry, or
  • Re-open the public inquiry into the scheme to consider new information.