Transport for London to charge up to £10 for using Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels during peak hours

Starting next year, drivers using two east London tunnels will face charges of up to £4 during peak hours, according to new proposals by Transport for London (TfL). Picture: Getty ImagesStarting next year, drivers using two east London tunnels will face charges of up to £4 during peak hours, according to new proposals by Transport for London (TfL). Picture: Getty Images
Starting next year, drivers using two east London tunnels will face charges of up to £4 during peak hours, according to new proposals by Transport for London (TfL). Picture: Getty Images | Getty Images
Starting next year, drivers using two east London tunnels will face charges of up to £4 during peak hours, according to new proposals by Transport for London (TfL).

These charges will apply to cars using the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels northbound from 6am to 10am and southbound from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays.

An eight-week consultation has been launched by TfL to discuss the charge levels. During off-peak hours, the fee will be reduced to £1.50 for those using Auto Pay, TfL’s automated payment system. For other payment methods outside of peak times, the fee will remain at £4 per trip. Motorbikes and mopeds will be charged £2.50 during peak hours and £1.50 during off-peak times, large vans will be charged £6.50 and £2.50 respectively, and heavy goods vehicles will face charges of £10 during peak hours and £5 during off-peak times.

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Failure to pay the toll will result in a £180 fine. The charging period will span from 6am to 10pm, with the tunnels remaining free to use overnight. Exemptions include buses, coaches, black taxis, blue badge holders in London, and zero-emission capable private hire vehicles, with discounts available for low-income individuals, small businesses, sole traders, and charities.

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Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the persistent congestion and pollution issues around the Blackwall Tunnel, stressing that the Silvertown Tunnel is designed to provide quicker, more reliable journeys in east London, potentially reducing travel times by up to 20 minutes. Christina Calderato, TfL's director of strategy, said that without the tunnel user charges, high traffic levels and congestion would lead to poorer air quality and longer journey times.

The Silvertown Tunnel, scheduled to be completed next spring, will link Silvertown with the Greenwich Peninsula and aims to alleviate severe congestion at the currently free-to-use Blackwall Tunnel. Despite these intentions, climate activists have raised concerns about the potential impact on traffic and air pollution due to the new crossing.

The expanded ultra-low emission zone (Ulez), covering the entirety of London as of August last year, also imposes a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards.

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