Letter: Health threat from river crossing

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was very pleased with your report ('Green groups unite to fight for woods', 11 May) on the threat to Oxleas Wood in Woolwich, my constituency. Obviously plans to destroy an ancient woodland and Site of Special Scientific Interest need to be opposed, but we should not lose sight of the other environmental damage that would follow construction of the East London River Crossing (ELRC).

Recent reports highlight the current effects of air pollution in the area. In the northern part of Woolwich, which will be bisected by ELRC, there are schools where half the children take regular anti-asthma medicine. The area has one of the highest rates of asthma and respiratory illness among children in London.

The proposed road would pass close to eight schools, five of which cater for children with special educational and health needs, including severe asthma, heart disease and cystic fibrosis. Even the Department of Transport admits that traffic on ELRC would generate an extra 1000 tonnes of gaseous and particulate pollution each year. That is why we are campaigning against the road and demanding a full Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with EC Directive 85/337.

Yours sincerely,


MP for Woolwich (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1