Assembly’s John Biggs slams TfL plans to extend Blackwall Tunnel closures

Motorists are facing shock closures of the Blackwall Tunnel in the New Year because TfL is extending the hours of weekend maintenance.

The move has been condemned tonight (Weds) by the London Assembly’s John Biggs, whose constituency includes the A12 Blackwall Tunnel northern approach, after TfL announced night-time closures are being stretched by three hours from January 6.

The current 1am Sunday closures come forward to midnight and the 8am reopening is being put back to 10am.

“Traffic build up will be chaotic,” Biggs warned. “The people of east London will be greatly inconvenienced by the extended closure.

“I appreciate work needs to be carried out and I welcome the fact that the closures will be limited to one a month.

“But many people are out and about by 10am on Sundays visiting family, going to church or shopping.”

He is urging TfL to re-think its strategy.

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But TfL insists there aren’t enough hours to complete all the maintenance and has decided to extend the closures to allow contractors “more time when traffic flows are still low.”

Northbound traffic will continue using Blackwall when either tunnel, north or south, is closed.

Southbound traffic, however, gets diverted miles away—nearest alternative Thames crossings to the west are the A101 Rotherhithe Tunnel at Stepney and the A100 Tower Bridge, or to the east the A117 Woolwich Ferry where the North Circular and South Circular routes join.