Blackwall Tunnel Weekend Closures Planned for Silvertown Tunnel Prep

The Blackwall Tunnel in London will be closed to southbound traffic on several weekends in May, June, and July 2024 for carriageway works. The closures will facilitate the road configuration for the new Silvertown Tunnel, set to open in 2025.

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Blackwall Tunnel Weekend Closures Planned for Silvertown Tunnel Prep

Blackwall Tunnel Weekend Closures Planned for Silvertown Tunnel Prep

The Blackwall Tunnel in London will be closed to southbound traffic on several weekend, closures in May, June, and July 2024 to facilitate carriageway works on the northbound tunnel approach. The closures are necessary to implement the road configuration for the new Silvertown Tunnel, which is set to open in 2025.

Why this matters: The Silvertown Tunnel project has significant implications for London's transportation infrastructure and air quality, as it aims to reduce congestion and improve the reliability of river crossings. The successful implementation of this project will set a precedent for future infrastructure development in the city, highlighting the importance of forward-thinking urban planning.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced the following closure dates: May 18-19, June 1-3, June 8-10, and June 29-July 1. During these weekend, closures, a range of works will be undertaken, including resurfacing roads and pavements on the tunnel approaches, installing safety barriers, work on retaining walls, and landscaping.

The closures will start at 12:01 am on Saturday mornings, with southbound traffic restored by 5:00 am on Monday mornings at the latest. Northbound traffic will not be affected, as it will be diverted through the southbound Blackwall Tunnel when required.

Drivers are advised to plan their routes in advance and check for potential traffic impacts or restrictions. Traffic around Rotherhithe Tunnel and along the A13 Commercial Road is expected to be heavier than normal over the affected weekends. The Woolwich Ferry will operate every 15 minutes, seven days a week, during the closures to provide an alternative river crossing.

HGVs and vans over 2 meters in height or weighing over 2 tonnes are advised to consider routes away from central London during the closure periods. Additional variable messaging signs will be placed on main roads approaching the Blackwall Tunnel to alert drivers. TfL has also worked with third-party app providers, such as Waze, to notify drivers of the southbound closure.

The route 108 bus will be split in two during the closures, operating between Lewisham and North Greenwich, and between Canning Town and Stratford. Customers can change onto the Jubilee line to cross the river and complete their journeys. TfL will ensure that customers who use the Jubilee line as part of their journey will avoid being charged for the Tube section via an automatic refund. The Mayor's Hopper fare will also apply, allowing customers to make additionalbus journeyson the other side of the river without extra charge.

Nick Fairholme, Director of Capital Delivery Systems at TfL, acknowledged the impact of the planned weekend works on drivers, stating,"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 Silvertown Tunnel, set to open in 2025, will provide a public transport-focused river crossing with zero-emission bus links across the Thames. The tunnel will be subject to a user charge and will be within the Ultra Low Emission Zone. Once operational, the crossing is expected to reduce congestion and improve the reliability and resilience of the Blackwall Tunnel, ultimately improving overall air quality in the local area.