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Reopening of foot tunnel delayed

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 November 2010 | UPDATED: 10:04 10 November 2010

Northern entrance of foot tunnel

Northern entrance of foot tunnel

Archant

THE reopening of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel has been delayed until March 2011 after contractors found corrosion on the stars during the current works programme.

Greenwich Council, which is carrying out the work, has said there are no safety issues for the public but scaffolding has been erected in the lift shafts while the stairs are repaired, meaning access is denied to people wanting to use the tunnel.

The work to renew the foot tunnel was planned after consulting cyclists, traders and other users. The original schedule of work was designed to allow pedestrians and cyclists to use the lifts while the stairs were being renewed and vice versa. Alternative means of crossing the river were put in place for all but a few hours each week.

The additional unplanned repairs at Woolwcih means it is no longer possible for the lifts to be used by the public while the stairs are being renewed.

The £10.5 million upgrade work is being carried out in conjunction with repairs of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel which is currently closed from 9pm to 6am each weekday.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and skills, said: “We have explored every possible means of carrying out the work safely while keeping the Woolwich tunnel open - as was originally planned , and as we are successfully doing at Greenwich. However the confined spaces involved means that it has not been possible to do this in the Woolwich tunnel.

“We have made representations to DLR over waiving their restrictions on non-folding cycles between Cutty Sark/Island Gardens and between Woolwich Arsenal/King George V but they were not able to agree this.”

People with folding bikes can take them on the DLR while other are encouraged to use the Woolwich free ferry during its operational hours.

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