#Stoppollution from toxic cruise terminal

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Michael Gove has pledged to take action on diesel fumes on the roads.

Now we believe is the ideal time for him to do the same for much dirtier diesel fuel on the river by insisting that:

  • cruise ships plug into an onshore power supply
  • pollution levels are monitored constantly, and
  • authorities introduce tough emergency measures to ensure those levels aren't exceeded.

Just one medium sized cruise ship moored at Enderby Wharf, using its own engines, will consume about 700 litres of diesel per hour. That's the same as having 688 heavy lorries with their engines idling - near homes and schools.

Experts claim that pollution leads to 10,000 premature deaths in the UK every year causing all manner of problems:

  • permanent lung damage in children
  • issues with dementia and cognition
  • untold suffering for people with asthma

It's worth noting that cruise ships have a terrible record for pollution and emission control.

Onshore power is the common sense solution. It's worked in the Port of Los Angeles where the port serves 43 miles of coastline. It could also work at Enderby Wharf which is infinitely smaller by comparison.

This petition was started as a cry for help when Greenwich Council forced through planning permission for Enderby Wharf, despite vehement protestations from locals and environmental groups.

The decision was challenged in the High Court, but the case was lost because there are no laws to protect people living near the river. The Mayor of London has promised to help but has discovered he has no powers over river traffic.

The terminal could bring in tourist dollars, granted, but if peoples' health suffers as a direct result – which it undoubtedly will – it defies all logic.

When planning permission was sought for the development most of us were ignorant about the effects of pollution. Now we have the facts at our disposal there is NO EXCUSE.

We’re not a bunch of tree hugging activists with nothing better to do. We are ordinary people concerned about the long term health of children, family and friends whose health will suffer if this goes ahead. Not just here but at ports everywhere, like Southampton, where cruise ships contribute up to 23 per cent of the city's air pollution.

Enderby Wharf is up for sale. Whoever buys it needs to know that unless they install an onshore power supply, the terminal is pure poison.

Yes, there will be an extra price tag attached. But compared to the human cost, and the burden it will invariably place on the NHS, it’s  well worth it.

The EU has a directive that says that all ports must provide onshore power by 2025. If, as Mr Gove believes, we’ll be better off and greener outside the EU, now is the ideal opportunity to prove it.

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