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Tougher measures to stop illegal overweight lorries using Blackwall Tunnel

PUBLISHED: 15:44 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 22 May 2013

Transport bosses are clamping down on lorry drivers using the A12 Blackwall Tunnel which are over the legal weight with tougher measures if they cause accidents or delays.

An agreement has been signed today by Transport for London with the Vehicle Operator Standards Agency to share data to reduce the impact of “dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles” using one of London’s busiest traffic routes.

The agreement by Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy with the agency’s Operations director Heather Cruickshank means TfL now provides details of every commercial vehicle involved in incidents including over-height lorries hitting the tunnel ceiling.

“Additional checks against illegally overweight vehicles trying to use the Blackwall Tunnel means we can take more direct action to stop dangerous operating practices,” Sir Peter said.

“This will help improve traffic flow on one of the busiest routes in London—delays caused by unnecessary incidents are a pain for everyone.”

TfL currently writes to the owner rather than the driver of a commercial vehicle involved in an incident—but only where the owner’s details appear in the livery, which is just in a handful of cases.

Now they can take more direct action against any owner as well as the driver.

TfL has also opened a site office on the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach at Poplar, which is now being used by the Met traffic police to carry out enforcement measures. Traffic police based at the Blackwall Tunnel since 2011 to provide an immediate response to incidents to reduce delays have inspected 3,000 vehicles in the last 20 months, resulting in 400 found to be over the legally weight limit.

Automatic number-plate recognition and weigh-in-motion systems have also been installed on the A2 southern approach to spot potentially-overweight vehicles before they reach the tunnel.

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