Nick Raynsford slams Boris Johnson's meddling in the Thames Tunnel Scheme
Nick Raynsford, Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, has today slammed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s attempts to intervene in the Thames Tunnel scheme and put thousands of local residents at risk of years of disruptive building works, danger and noise.
Nick was responding to news that Boris Johnson has written to Thames Water to call on them to look again at the Borthwick Wharf site as part of the Thames Tunnel sewer overflow scheme. This is despite Thames Water having already decided the site was unsuitable. Together with local Labour Councillors, Nick Raynsford last year organised a public meeting with Thames Water representatives. The meeting was very well attended by local residents, all of whom expressed serious concerns about the scheme, in particular safety risks from heavy lorry movements along narrow roads in a predominantly residential area. They also highlighted the disruption to the Ahoy Centre, a charity offering sailing and river-related activities to disadvantaged and disabled youngsters, as well as the encroachment into the River Thames.
In response, Thames Water dismissed using Borthwick Wharf and confirmed an alternative site for its scheme, which would be far less disruptive. Now Boris wants Thames Water to reconsider its decision, despite public opposition and concerns about safety.
Nick has written to all local residents warning them of the new threat to their area, and has written to Boris Johnson and Thames Water to protest in the strongest terms about the Mayor’s irresponsible intervention.
Nick said, “The fact that the Mayor has intervened to try to reverse this process is shocking in itself. But to have acted in this way without any attempt to consult the thousands of local residents who will be adversely affected, or their local representatives, is frankly inexcusable. I have urged Thames Water to not abandon the alternative site, and have called on Boris Johnson to immediately withdraw his ill-advised comments and to come to Borthwick Wharf to apologise to the local community”.