If you live in SE London you may have heard of the gathering campaign to stop the refurbishment of Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels.
The story, feverishly promoted by several local residents, is that the tunnels will be closed for "up to 18 months" leaving cyclists and pedestrians stranded on the southern shore of the Thames.
In one shock opening local hack Andrew Gilligan told us that:
"GREENWICH foot tunnel will be closed to all users for ten months during its refurbishment, council officials have said."
Now you didn't have to look too far down the page to find that
"Greenwich Council continued to insist today that no official decision has been taken on how long the tunnel will close."
But no matter. Andrew had told us that the tunnels were to close for 10 months and that was the end of that.
Except a certain Boris Johnson has actually spoken to Chris Roberts, and heard differently.
Writing in response to a series of questions about the 18 month closure (no mention of "up to" by this point) Boris replied that:
"Greenwich expect to close only one lift per tunnel at a time. Most work will take place while the tunnels remain open although there may be a need for limited tunnel closures at times when it is not safe to carry out work, even behind hoardings."
and that Greenwich Council are
"seeking to limit the number of times when the foot tunnels will be completely closed and that these closures will be short in duration.”
So that's 'limited' and 'short' closures rather than a 10-18 month cordon.
Has this story been oversold just a little do you think?
-Update- Thanks to Darryl, I see that the Mercury got here first.