Work on controversial east London road tunnel 'to start next year'

Reports that work is expected to start next year on a "controversial new road tunnel under the Thames" feature in today's newspaper round-up.

London’s Evening Standard reports that "a £1 billion PFI contract to build a controversial new road tunnel under the Thames, to ease some of London’s worst-congested roads" has been signed. The paper says that mayoral agency Transport for London "said work would finally start next year on the Silvertown tunnel, which will link Greenwich and Newham and provide relief to drivers caught in daily tailbacks using the Blackwall tunnel." Planning permission was granted in 2018.

The Times (subscription) reports that "a range of diseases including kidney failure and septicaemia have been linked to air pollution in one of the largest studies into the health effects of breathing toxic particles". The paper says that US researchers combined a database of 95 million patients with details of the air quality in their neighbourhood on the day before they were admitted to hospital. They found that merely a small, short-term rise in particulate pollution appeared to increase the likelihood of people falling ill."

Sir David Attenborough has given his backing to a £1 million appeal to "save" a nature reserve outside Nottingham that bears his name, The Times reports. The paper says that the Attenborough reserve "is a 200-hectare sanctuary made of former sand and gravel quarries". It adds that the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust says that it has a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to buy the site. But it adds that "if the price of £1 million is not raised, it is understood that the lakes, wetland, grassland and scrub could be offered for other uses."

The Daily Mail reports that "a leading Oxford professor says geography has ‘become a soft option’ for teenagers from wealthy backgrounds who do not have the sharpest brains." The paper says that professor Danny Dorling, a fellow at St Peter’s College, "claimed geography departments ‘have some of the narrowest and poshest social profiles’ at universities."

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