The Rotherhithe Tunnel will close all weekend from 10pm tonight until Monday morning and weight restrictions then introduced after faults were discovered in routine tests.
From Monday no vehicle over two metres or two tonnes will be permitted to use the tunnel – which includes many cars and SUVs in addition to vans and lorries.
The restrictions couldn’t come at a worst time for TfL, who will hope to fix the ventilation system before the Woolwich Ferry closes completely in three weeks time until the end of the year to prepare for new ferries.
Both closures will feed more traffic to the Blackwall Tunnel, which is due to see increased traffic this year and next due to the new Icon shopping centre opening at the O2 on 20th October, as covered here.
A 4,400 music venue and design district follows, as does thousands more homes.
In regards to Rotherhithe, Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Network Management, said: “Safety is our top priority and this closure and changes to the vehicles allowed in the tunnel are absolutely necessary to ensure the tunnel’s future.
“This assessment can only be carried out when the tunnel is fully closed to all traffic, and while the work takes place we strongly advise drivers to avoid the area around the tunnel and to allow more time for their journeys.”