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MP Fitzpatrick slams Boris for closing Blackwall Tunnel

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 05 October 2010

Blackwall Tunnelo closure jams A13... blocking Poplar fire station

Blackwall Tunnelo closure jams A13... blocking Poplar fire station

FORMER transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick has slammed London Mayor Boris Johnson over weekend traffic chaos caused by the closure of the A12 Blackwall Tunnel for upgrading work. East London came to a standstill, said the MP

By Mike Brooke

FORMER transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick has slammed London Mayor Boris Johnson today over weekend traffic chaos caused by the closure of the A12 Blackwall Tunnel for upgrading work.

East London came to a standstill on Saturday and Sunday, said the MP.

The congestion along the busy A13 West India Dock Road between Poplar and Limehouse (pictured) was so bad that Mr Fitzpatrick had to use a bike to get to Westminster from his constituency office. Even emergency access from Poplar fire station was blocked (seen on the left).

"I cycled in to Westminster on Saturday and saw first hand the chaos caused by the closure of the tunnel," said the MP.

"There must be a better way to manage this. The waste of time and fuel for people caught up in this fiasco is totally unacceptable."

He took a snapshot of the congestion along the main A13 West India Dock Road, which was at a standstill in both directions as motorists headed for the alternative Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge.

A two-mile solid parallel traffic jam also built up along The Highway from Limehouse to Tower Bridge as late as midnight.

The former Transport Department Parliamentary Under Secretary, 2007-09, blames Boris for scrapping plans for an alternative Thames river crossing at Beckton when he became mayor.

"If the Mayor had gone ahead with the new Thames crossing, we would be on the way to preventing this dreadful situation," he added.

The Poplar & Limehouse MP is now writing to Boris demanding action and challenging the weekend tunnel closures. Further weekend closures are in the pipeline next month and later in the year.


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