Local campaigners have jet-washed the message "Stop The Tunnel" onto the Thames Embankment near the proposed route of the Silvertown Tunnel.

The message was jet-washed in block capitals onto the Thames Embankment near to where the tunnel will be built, and officials were later seen removing the graffiti from the river bank.

The campaigners say this "is just a taste of what is to come as anger grows" over Transport for London's decision to allow the controversial crossing across the Thames to go ahead.

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The £1.2 billion project, which will link Silvertown and Greenwich Peninsula, has been a longstanding point of controversy, with opponents claiming it is incompatible with environmental aims.

Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition is not behind the stunt, but say they welcome the action of local activists.

They call the tunnel an "ill-conceived climate-destroying motorway with dedicated HGV lanes."

The protestors said: “As lockdown eases, we are going to see many more protests as local people cannot understand why a motorway spewing juggernauts and HGVs into some of the poorest and most polluted areas of East and South-East London, is still being pushed through, “ said Victoria Rance of the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition.

“Local communities are against it, doctors and health workers are against it, local MPs are against it, young people from black and ethnic minority communities are against it, climate scientists are against it. 

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"This is a project totally out of line with the current climate emergency,” she said.

Opposition group Stop the Silvertown Tunnel argues the project undermines the Mayor's own 2030 carbon neutrality target, and his goal of increasing cycling and walking in the capital.

The group has also raised concerns the tunnel would bring more traffic and pollution to the 80 per cent black and minority area of Newham, which already struggles with air quality issues.

A multi-national consortium successfully bid for the contract from Transport for London in November.

Riverlinx will chip in private capital to fund the project, receiving repayment via a vehicle toll on the tunnel in a private finance initiative (PFI).

The Mayor’s office has said introducing tolls at Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels would “play a crucial role in tackling congestion, improving overall air quality and providing much-needed additional bus services across the river".

The campaign group say a London-wide Survation poll carried out late last year found that when asked whether there should be an additional car tunnel across the Thames, a clear majority of Londoners – 60% - said the investment should instead go on improving public transport, safer cycling and walking.

As it prepares to host the UN Climate Change talks (COP26) in Glasgow later this year, the government has this week come under fire from former UN figures leading the fight against climate change, for recent decisions on mega projects which will hinder the UK’s efforts to achieve a net zero target for carbon emissions.

“Exactly the same can be said for the Greater London Assembly and the Mayor of London who, by persisting with a polluting mega-tunnel, will destroy any chance of London meeting the Paris Agreement targets, let alone any new targets set at COP26,” said Simon Pirani, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.