Cruise Terminal: The Mayor Speaks
Boris Johnson reopened the fierce debate about our planned cruise liner terminal with a sensible comment on its likely contribution to bad air. He now seems to agree with us. This just one month after his deputy agreed to “sign off” the plans and allow Greenwich Council to determine the whole case.
We have consistently argued for a clean cruise liner port. This can be done by using onshore power supply (OPS) by which ships plug into an electricity supply. The proposed dirty alternative is to run ship’s diesels 24 hours a day, burning 700 litres an hour. With the Volkswagen diesel case blowing up into an international scandal it is right to be sceptical of reassurances that there will be no impact on our already bad air.
EGRA is asking the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call in this application. This is the second time we have done so, but the recent outburst by the Mayor and increasing concerns about air pollution strengthen our case. This time we intend the approach to be a joint one with our sister societies and other organisation.
This proposal, in its current 'dirty' form, does not have the support of local people as the Mayor appears to think. There are further plans for an online petition and we have been busy lobbying City Hall and local MPs.
Cleaner terminals, including using OPS, will be obligatory in 2015, and EU grants are available to fund modern facilities. These facts were not told to us before Greenwich resolved to approve the application. They may not even have been known to the Council.
Despite the apparent arrival of dredgers at Enderby Wharf this is not, as yet, a done deal and we must continue to campaign for a facility fit for the 21st century.