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Tower Hamlets Mayor wades into Enderby Wharf cruise-liner terminal in row about pollution over troubled waters

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:22 14 June 2018

Campaigners fear massive toxic fumes from berthed cruise-liners running their deisel engines like lorry engines idling on the roads. Picture: Iga Cegielko.

Campaigners fear massive toxic fumes from berthed cruise-liners running their deisel engines like lorry engines idling on the roads. Picture: Iga Cegielko.

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The Mayor of Tower Hamlets is wading into the controversy of toxic clouds sweeping across the Thames to the Isle of Dogs from the proposed cruise liner terminal on the Greenwich Peninsular.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Biggs aiming to stop cruise-liner terminal polluting Isle of Dogs. Picture: Mike BrookeTower Hamlets Mayor Biggs aiming to stop cruise-liner terminal polluting Isle of Dogs. Picture: Mike Brooke

John Biggs has sent a letter today to the new leader of Greenwich Council about the bad air if the Enderby Wharf terminal goes ahead which he says threatens the Isle of Dogs.

This follows pressure in Parliament from Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who told the East London Advertiser last week that the problem was no legislation covering shipping at berth which allowed a terminal without emissions control.

Calls also came from the Mayor of London for Greenwich to “do the right thing”.

The scheme already passed by Greenwich Council in 2015 doesn’t include shore-to-ship electric mains—which means cruise liners having to run their own diesel engines when berthed up to 155 days a year.

Foreshore protest over planned cruiseship terminal on Greenwich Peninsular polluting the Thames including Canary Wharf and Isle of Dogs on the other side. Picture: Iga Cegielko.Foreshore protest over planned cruiseship terminal on Greenwich Peninsular polluting the Thames including Canary Wharf and Isle of Dogs on the other side. Picture: Iga Cegielko.

That could send noxious gas clouds wafting across the Thames, affecting Cubitt Town, Canary Wharf and Blackwall neighbourhoods on the Isle of Dogs.

“I urge Greenwich to think again to make sure the impact on the environment is reduced,’’ Mayor Biggs said. “Air quality is an issue that cuts cross the Thames and we want to make sure the impact from the terminal is considered.”

The mayor says in his letter to Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe that Enderby Wharf presents “a strategic challenge for London as a whole” and particularly the Isle of Dogs if it goes ahead.

His letter adds: “I understand from the media that you are considering a revision (to the scheme) and would urge you to do this.

Protesters make their mark on the foreshore where proposed cruise-liner terminal would be built facing Isle of Dogs. Picture: Iga Cegielko.Protesters make their mark on the foreshore where proposed cruise-liner terminal would be built facing Isle of Dogs. Picture: Iga Cegielko.

“I would hope Greenwich will consult Isle of Dogs residents on the impact the scheme will have and to build mitigations into the agreements with the developers.”

The terminal scheme has led to a “no toxic port” campaign spreading to both sides of the Thames and a 7,000-name petition by families at Cumberland Mills Square in Cubitt Town.

The Greenwich Council leader has had meetings at City Hall with the Mayor of London since taking office after last month’s local elections when he commented that developers should be ‘brought back around the table’.

Campaigners were not against a cruise-ship terminal bringing tourists to London and business to the area—but it needed to be environmentally safe.

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