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Boris slammed over Blackwall Tunnel blaze

PUBLISHED: 12:15 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

The damage... but crew finish repairs in record time

The damage... but crew finish repairs in record time

BORIS Johnson is under attack following the car fire that closed the Blackwall Tunnel in East London for 25 hours. London Assembly member John Biggs slammed the Mayor’s strategy for “his persistent failure to address the need for an alternative river crossing”

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson is under attack following the car fire that closed the Blackwall Tunnel in East London for 25 hours.

Engineers worked round-the-clock to reopen the northbound carriageway after Sunday night’s blaze when a people carrier’ caught light near the exit at Poplar, trapping 100 motorists behind.

Transport for London expected to reopen the tunnel after three days, but managed to get repairs done 48 hours early and got traffic moving by 7pm last night.

But London Assembly member John Biggs today slammed the Mayor's strategy for "his persistent failure to address the need for an alternative river crossing.”

He said: “Fortunately, no-one was seriously hurt. But every time the tunnel is blocked, the East side of London is gridlocked and held to ransom by the lack of alternatives.

“It’s not just bad news for travellers. It holds back investment and jobs and reduces mobility for the most disadvantaged side of London.”

The previous Labour mayor Ken Livingstone promoted a Thames Gateway’ bridge at Beckton, three miles east of Blackwall, he pointed out. But it went on hold’ when Boris took office last year.

Biggs, who represents East London on the Assembly, accused the mayor of “making easy and populist decisions” and failing to offer leadership.

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