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TfL advises of weekend closures to the southbound Blackwall Tunnel

  • Planned closures required to carry out work to the roads south of the Blackwall Tunnel to support the new Silvertown Tunnel which opens in 2025 
  • Northbound traffic will not be affected by the closures and will be diverted via the southbound tunnel when required 
  • Route 108 will be temporarily split and terminate at Canning Town station and North Greenwich, with customers asked to use the Jubilee line to cross the river to complete their journeys with subsequent refunds available if required 

Transport for London (TfL) yesterday (Wednesday 08 May) advised drivers that the Blackwall Tunnel will be closed to southbound traffic across a number of weekends in May and June to help support carriageway works on the northbound Blackwall Tunnel approach. 

The closures, which are required to help implement the road configuration for the new Silvertown Tunnel, which will open in 2025, will take place across the weekends of 18-20 May, 1-3 June, 8-10 June and 29 June - 1 July.

During these weekends, a range of works will be undertaken, including resurfacing roads and pavements on the tunnel approaches, installing safety barriers, work to retaining walls and carrying out landscaping. The closures will all start at 00:01 on the Saturday morning, with southbound traffic being restored by 05:00 on the Monday morning at the latest. Further information about the closures can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk/blackwall-tunnel  

The Silvertown Tunnel, which is within the Ultra Low Emission Zone and will be subject to a user charge, will provide a public transport-focused river crossing with zero-emission bus links across the Thames. Once open in 2025, the crossing will also reduce congestion and improve the reliability and resilience of the Blackwall Tunnel, which will improve overall air quality in the local area. 

Across the weekends, the Blackwall Tunnel will be closed for southbound traffic and drivers will need to take alternative routes. Northbound traffic will not be affected by these closures as traffic will be diverted through the southbound Blackwall Tunnel when required. Drivers are advised to plan their routes in advance, checking before they travel so they can consider any other potential traffic impacts or restrictions, such as the height and weight limits at Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge, both of which are outside the Congestion Charge zone. Traffic around Rotherhithe Tunnel and along the A13 Commercial Road is expected to be heavier than normal over the weekends due to the closures. The Woolwich Ferry, which now depart every fifteen minutes, seven days a week, will also be in operation across the weekends. 

Drivers of HGVs, as well as vans more than two metres in height or weighing more than two tonnes, are advised to consider routes away from central London across the weekends where possible. To help inform drivers, additional variable messaging signs will be placed on the main roads approaching the Blackwall Tunnel. TfL has also worked with third party app providers, such as Waze, to help ensure drivers who regularly use the Blackwall Tunnel are alerted to the southbound closure and that the closure is shown in any route-planning over the weekend. TfL will also take the opportunity to carry out works within and around the tunnel, to help deliver future maintenance work more efficiently and ensure the tunnel can continue to safely operate.  

Nick Fairholme, Director of Capital Delivery - Systems at TfL, said: "We are getting closer to the opening of the new Silvertown Tunnel and appreciate that these planned weekend works will have an impact on some drivers. We are doing everything in our power to limit potential disruption and complete these essential works as quickly as possible, including ensuring a northbound route through the Blackwall Tunnel is maintained throughout." 

The route 108, the only bus route that operates through the Blackwall Tunnel, will be split in two, operating between both Lewisham and North Greenwich and between Canning Town and Stratford. Customers are advised to then change onto the Jubilee line to cross the river to complete their journeys. TfL will also ensure that customers of the route 108 who then use the Jubilee line as part of their journey over the weekend will avoid being charged for the Tube section of their journey via an automatic refund which will be processed after the weekend. The Mayor's Hopper fare will also mean that customers won't be charged for any additional bus journeys on the other side of the river, providing they begin within an hour of touching in on the first bus. From 00:01 on the Monday mornings of the closure, northbound buses will return to their normal route and southbound buses will be diverted via Tower Bridge until the tunnel is re-opened to southbound traffic. 

Work on delivering the new Silvertown Tunnel, which will open in 2025, continues to progress. Both of the 1.1km tunnels have now been fully tunnelled, with the 'cut and cover' sections now virtually covered. Following approval by local councils, landscaping works in Greenwich are now taking place as worksites are no longer required.  

Throughout 2024, work will also continue to install the safety critical systems within the tunnel, as well as complete work on the tunnel portals. Work is also progressing on the new road layout around Tidal Basin Roundabout in Newham, including new walking and cycling paths to make it easier for people accessing the Royal Docks via the Lower Lea Crossing. 

For the latest on how roads are running, please visit: https://tfl.gov.uk/traffic/status/ 

Notes to editors

  • Should any weekend closures not be possible due to unexpected reasons, they will be rescheduled. TfL will carry out further communication should this be required. 
  • The Silvertown Tunnel has been subject to significant scrutiny as part of the planning process, including a six-month public inquiry, before it was awarded a Development Consent Order by the Secretary of State. For more information on the progress on the Silvertown Tunnel, please see: https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/silvertown-tunnel and https://www.riverlinx.co.uk/ 
  • Information on the new Woolwich Ferry timetable is available here
Channel website: https://tfl.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2024/may/tfl-advises-of-weekend-closures-to-the-southbound-blackwall-tunnel

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