So, you’re the PR boss of a London borough, earning £125,000 a year. You’ve cooked up a campaign to get a new road tunnel built which is going to lead to even more traffic piling into your already-saturated borough. It’s a controversial one.

Your social media launch had to be pulled, so now you’re now launching it to the mainstream media. You pick a nice riverside location. After all, your borough has London’s longest riverfront.

But you forget to check the tide tables. So when you arrive, it’s low tide…

Bridge The Gap press launch, 4 January 2013

Perhaps doing it in view of the much-loved Woolwich Ferry, which you’re campaigning to get rid of, probably wasn’t wise either. Oh dear, oh dear…

Greenwich Council Bridge The Gap launch, 4 January 2013

Next, all you’ll need is your senior councillor admitting not having done any research – but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Sadly, I couldn’t be there, but Greenwich and Newham councils’ launch of their Bridge The Gap campaign on Friday ended up being shared with a protest on the North Woolwich foreshore from Friends of the Earth, Roads To Nowhere and Stop City Airport. If only they’d done it at high tide, eh?

These campaigners are flat out against any new roads, while it must be emphasised the No Silvertown Tunnel petition doesn’t have a view on other crossings, but it’s good to see Greenwich and Newham’s attempt to hijack TfL’s river crossings consultation itself hijacked once again.

Will Greenwich Council now get the message that campaigning for an additional tunnel branching off the A102, attracting more traffic, more jams and more pollution, is suicidal? We’ll have to wait and see, but you can help by signing the petition.

For some strange reason, neither Greenwich’s Dear Leader Chris Roberts nor Newham’s elected mayor Sir Robin Wales bothered to show up, so the gig was left to regeneration cabinet member Denise Hyland and her Newham counterpart, Conor McAuley. Neither were particularly convincing, as this video from London 24 shows…

9 replies on “Greenwich Council’s Bridge The Gap campaign runs aground”

  1. Your comments clearly misrepresent wha I said about the current log jams that currently exist in Kidbrooke and elsewhere. The point I was making now repeat to clarify is that the solution is the development of greater access across the Thames. Of course we need to continue to reduce th use of the car and extend alternatives such as Crossrail. Improving rail infrastructure will further help and the investment in London Bridge will see additional trains in the longer term. I note tha you have responded to the consultation organised by Tfl. Hope to see this published in due course.

  2. John, considering you’ve painted objecting to the Silvertown plan as a “do nothing” option, that’s a bit rich.

    “Of course people will be concerned and full consultation is important but the general thrust of the case for the Tunnel is sound. Questions about traffic issues in Kidbrooke and elsewhere are being quoted. The reality is that these issues exist already.”

    Doesn’t sound like you’ve got a plan to reduce traffic through Kidbrooke, does it?

  3. John, on the subject of Crossrail, is the funding in place from Berkeley for the Woolwich station fit-out yet?

    Last I heard you were looking at an supplemental Community Infrastructure Levy, increased Council Tax or using funds from RBG reserves. The clock is ticking!

  4. Funnily enough the protest banner didn’t appear in the latest Greenwich Time paper.

    Had a look at the petition – only 237 signed so far??

    I do feel sorry for anyone living near a busy road, the noise and pollution is horrendous. But until the MOT enforces stricter controls on emmissions this is not going to change any time soon.

    There can’t be any doubt that at least one new crossing (be it tunnel or bridge) between Silvertown and Dartford is needed, and this must surely allow the usage of Commercial Vehicles for transit of goods.

  5. Colin, the petition isn’t a no to all crossings (although some signatories may feel that way).

    If you have a £125k director of PR, plus a weekly propaganda rag, to help with the promotion, then please send them our way.

  6. Darryl, I’m afraid I’m not Greenwich council nor a relation of Rupert M’s, just a resident of plumstead who drives a van.

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