Residents and traders react to proposed A13 tunnel in Dagenham

A tunnel is proposed to replace this section of the A13. Picture: Andrew Baker

A tunnel is proposed to replace this section of the A13. Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: © 2020 Andrew Baker

Residents and traders have had mixed reactions to the idea of putting a major east London road underground.  

Barking and Dagenham Council wants to move 1.3km of the A13 into a tunnel to build new houses on the land above and reduce pollution.

It estimates the tunnel would cost almost £1 billion to build and maintain – but would bring in £800 million for the local economy over 60 years.

A report by Barking and Dagenham and Havering councils said the tunnel would help to reduce traffic bottlenecks, lower pollution and build 5,000 new homes.

Rain Tanees, supervisor at the Thatched House pub next to the A13, said that construction and traffic disruption would be bad for business. 

He said: “For us it’s a problem because when they are working all the dust comes in one side of the bar.” 

Mr Tanees also believes the tunnel plan would have mixed results. 

He said: “For traffic, I think it’s a good idea, but not for business. 

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“Because of the traffic people don’t want to stop and come in.” 

Colin Bradford, who lives near the A13, said with so many new buildings in east London, he couldn’t see where the council would find residents to move into the planned homes. 

He said: “I think it’s a bad idea. 

“I don’t know where they will get these people. 

“It sounds like madness.” 

Mr Bradford added that he drives on the A13 less often than he used to because of the busy traffic. 

He said: “I always thought there needed to be four lanes. 

“First thing in the morning it’s madness. 

“A four-lane tunnel? I can’t see it.” 

However, not everyone near the A13 was against the idea. 

Dagenham resident Seidat Oyebanjo said she thought new homes were important, even if it meant disruption. 

She said: “Accommodation is a good idea. 

“It will affect me a bit but if they need to do it, they need to do it. 

“We all have a right to accommodation – it’s a good initiative.  

“It’s for the young people to benefit.

“That’s what life is all about – it’s give and take.” 

Haisel Clarke, who uses the A13 every day, agreed the tunnel was a good idea. 

She said: “It wouldn’t bother me. I can always work out another route – that’s the beauty of Dagenham. 

“I think it’s a good idea to put it underground.” 

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