Blackwall Tunnel police team to ease east London congestion

A DEDICATED response team has been created to deal with the hundreds of Blackwall Tunnel closures every year.

A DEDICATED response team has been created to deal with the hundreds of Blackwall Tunnel closures every year.

The key Thames crossing has been shut 1,200 times in the last year through drivers running out of fuel or ignoring over-height warnings.

The unplanned closures have infuriated motorists and led to more than 13 days of severe congestion in east London.

Transport for London (TfL) has now funded a Road Response Police Team to be based at Blackwall Tunnel for three months to enforcement regulations and help prevent incidents.


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Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s transport advisor, said: “We all know how frustrating it is sitting in traffic, even more so when the reason for the jam is so easily avoided.

“We are asking all drivers using the Blackwall Tunnel to use their common sense and make sure their vehicle is not too high to get through and is not likely to break down or run out of fuel in the tunnel.

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“It sounds simple but these sorts of problems are causing thousands of drivers to sit in pointless traffic jams for hours on end.”

As well as the police team, a new digital sign has been installed on the tunnel’s northern approach, drawing attention to the problem of broken-down vehicles.

Road signs showing the location of petrol stations will also be installed on approach roads.

In the last nine months, the Blackwall Tunnel has had to be closed 1604 times, the majority of which (70 per cent) due to drivers ignoring the four-metre height restriction.

Vehicle break-downs were responsible for 287 closures; a third of which were simply due to vehicles running out of fuel.

For every minute the tunnel is closed, it stops up to 60 vehicles getting through. On an average day, these can stop up to 750 vehicles a day passing through the tunnel.

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