The decision on whether to grant planning permission for the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel has been pushed back a month so that transport secretary Chris Grayling can consider air quality concerns.
A statement by transport minister Paul Maynard said: “This extension is to enable further consideration of the recent responses to the Secretary of State consultations on the scheme which relate to the updated UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations published by government on 26 July 2017.
The decision on Transport for London’s planning application was originally going to be made today.
Friends of the Earth and Southwark Council have both called for the project to be reconsidered because of air quality concerns.
Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said: “This delay hopefully shows that the air pollution effects of this outdated four-lane road scheme are being taken seriously.
“This Silvertown tunnel would make already poor air quality even worse in some areas – and that is simply not acceptable. Major road-building should have no place in a city which desperately needs to cut traffic levels and cut pollution. If Sadiq Khan is serious about protecting Londoners’ lungs he should pull the plug on this scheme, and look at cleaner alternatives.”
If given the go-ahead next month, construction will be a new twin bore road tunnel to pass under the River Thames, providing a new connection between the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach and the Tidal Basin roundabout junction on the A1020 Lower Lea Crossing, London.