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A12 Blackwall Tunnel weekend closures hit drivers

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 05 October 2010

WEEKEND closures are planned in the Blackwall Tunnel in East London over the next two years in addition to night-time weekday closures, drivers are being warned. The shut-down is to allow modernisation of the northbound tunnel which cannot be done during the regular overnight closures

By Mike Brooke

WEEKEND closures are planned in the A12 northbound Blackwall Tunnel in East London over the next two years in addition to weekday night-time closures already under way, drivers are being warned.

The Saturday-Sunday shut-down is to allow modernisation of the 108-year-old tunnel which City Hall says cannot be completed during the regular overnight closure programme.

Two public meetings are being held by Transport for London to answer questions and explain the closures.

They are at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf on Friday evening, May 14, at 6pm, and at the O2 in north Greenwich the next day (Saturday) at 12 noon.

The work will take until December, 2012. TfL is discussing dates with local authorities at Tower Hamlets and Greenwich before announcing when the weekend closures begin.

The Blackwall Tunnel, which carries 50,000 vehicles a day, is to have new ventilation shafts to speed up smoke extraction in the event of vehicle fires, which has hampered rescues in the past. Upgraded fire detection systems, lighting, CCTV cameras and better access for emergency services are also being installed.

The northbound tunnel is already closed between 9pm and 5am Sunday to Friday, with northbound traffic diverted through the southbound tunnel.

Alternatives for drivers are the A101 Rotherhithe Tunnel and the A282 Dartford river crossing which has no toll charges between 10pm and 6am.

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