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New cameras for London’s Rotherhithe Tunnel

London’s Rotherhithe Tunnel

New cameras are being introduced in the Rotherhithe Tunnel to increase safety and deter vehicles that don’t meet the safety restrictions from using the route.

Vehicles that are more than two metres (six foot six inches) wide or two metres high, or goods vehicles weighing more than 2 tonnes, are not safe to travel through the tunnel.

From early February, enforcement will be carried out by the new cameras and people driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not comply with the restrictions could be fined up to £130.

The tunnel, which was built in 1908, was not designed to cope with modern levels of traffic. Safety is Transport for London’s (TfL’s) top priority and in September 2018 it carried out detailed analysis of the tunnel’s ventilation system, which would be used to extract smoke and other dangerous fumes in the event of a fire.

This showed that new restrictions were vital to ensure road users could continue to use the tunnel safely, whilst TfL works on plans for the tunnel’s future. By not complying with restrictions at the tunnel, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk.

Enforcement officers have been present at both approaches to the tunnel since the new restrictions were introduced to assist drivers and prevent vehicles entering the tunnel that do not comply. Officers have turned away an average of 600 vehicles a day since September.

Drivers whose vehicles do not meet the restrictions are advised to use nearby Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel to cross the Thames. The congestion charge does not apply to either crossing.

Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management, said: “Safety is our top priority and these restrictions are absolutely essential to ensure that people can continue to use the tunnel safely.

“People driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not meet the restrictions are putting both themselves and others at risk.

“I would encourage all users of the tunnel to check that their vehicle is below two metres in height and width, and that goods vehicles are less than two tonnes in weight, so that they are compliant when the new cameras are switched on.”

Reducing danger on London’s roads is key to the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury from the transport network. The approach will also include the introduction of lower speed limits on the road network, the transformation of dangerous junctions, tough safety standards for the design of HGVs and a bus safety programme, which includes speed-limiting technology and a new training course for all drivers.

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  • Mark Sweeney - 16/04/2019 17:19

    Sad state of affairs regarding Rotherhithe Tunnel weight restrictions. We use as a family car a Mitsubishi L200 and we only have a vehicle like this due to our hobbies, i.e. scuba diving, kayaking and it is ideal for squeezing everything in to covered rear. In no way or form do we use this vehicle for commercial use but we find that due to it being classed as a PLG and having a MGW of 2945kg we have been penalised for using Rotherhithe tunnel even though on this occasion we were almost empty apart from a couple of suitcases so expect that we would not have exceeded 2T limit through tunnel but because we 'could have' and I highlight 'could have' we have been penalised. The signs at entrance state 2T but how do they know without physically weighing your vehicle what your actual weight is. I know people will say get another vehicle but to be honest unfortunately we need a larger vehicle which would probably weigh about the same. We've been coming to London for many years for a week at a time but this has left us with a sour taste in our mouths and looks like unless we change our vehicle this will be our last trip.

  • Richard Lepage - 15/05/2019 17:50

    I use my little nissan electric van (zero emssion) weigt of 2220 kg, every month crossing the tunel in pass. but I received a penality today! for 220kg extra.

  • enough is enough - 25/01/2020 23:13

    Considering only vans less than 6ft6 wide and 2 metres high can get through the restriction barriers, most of the vans that have received fines would not have had a kerb side weight of over 2 tonnes. Most will be less than 1.4 tonnes. The Gross vehicle weight is only the maximium weight the van is allowed to become when full. Most of the vans that have received fines would not have been full, with most probably less than 2 tonnes, yet London has made £5million since December. That is a hell of a lot of money to make from van drivers, just because their load "might" have exceeded 2 tonnes.

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