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More opposition to Thames Gateway Bridge appears

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Friends of the Earth (FoE) has become the latest group to voice its opposition to the controversial new Thames Gateway bridge proposals.

The statement released by the green campaigners coincides with the reopening today (13 September) of the public inquiry into the massive new crossing designed by Marks Barfield Architects.

Hailed as the cornerstone of the government's Thames Gateway proposals, the bridge between Newham and Greenwich in south-east London continues to receive heavy criticism from a growing number of opponents.

Those concerned about the viability of the £455 million project include Richard Rogers - the man behind the government's own Urban Task Force - and Bexleyheath-based campaign group Action Group Against the Bridge (see AJ 18.11.04).

Now FoE has added to the mounting dissent, claiming the link would create more air and noise pollution.

The group also believes the route would take people off public transport and is not needed for the government's proposed Gateway redevelopment.

A spokesman said: 'FoE believes the scheme is not necessary for regeneration and is more likely to fail some of those most in need of sustainable regeneration, while not reducing inequalities.

'We want to see a proper evaluation of what would most benefit those people most in need.'

He added: 'Allowing the scheme to proceed would be a failure in planning terms as government policy requires an approach that reduces the need to travel.'

by Richard Waite

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