TfL reveal £4 peak car toll for Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels from next year

The level of tolls from next year on both the existing Blackwall tunnel and forthcoming Silvertown tunnels have been revealed by Transport for London.

A consultation has launched today with proposed rates at:

  • £1.50 cars, vans and motorbikes off-peak
  • £4 for cars and vans at peak times
  • £2.50 for motorbikes at peak time
Tunnel approach takes shape north of the Thames
  • £2.50 off-peak and £6.50 peak time for Large Vans
  • £5 off peak and £10 peak for HGVs

Charges would apply from 6am to 10pm seven days a week.

Peak times are 6am-10am northbound and 4pm-7 pm southbound.

Tolls are bound to cause large controversy though have always been part of the plan since Silvertown tunnel ideas were revealed many years ago under Boris Johnson.

Extract on potential tolls for Woolwich ferry

There are fears traffic will divert to alternative free crossings. At one stage Greenwich Council suggested tolling Woolwich ferry.

Woolwich ferry roundabout

Now that would be controversial.

Discounts

A range of discount measures are revealed today including:

  • “A 50 per cent discount for low-income drivers living in east London.”

For some reason TfL are describing south east London boroughs as “east London” which is a recipe for confusion. SE London boroughs are also included with residents in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark part of the discount area.

  • Free cycle bus provision (at least 12 months).

This would see cyclists head to a designated point to wait for a bus through. Blackwall tunnel once had such a measure.

When revealed in July 2023 it was widely criticised as a slow and awkward way to cross the river. Many approaches to the peninsula are also far from inviting on a bike. There’s no imminent plan to improve them.

A cyclist heads to the peninsula from east Greenwich
  • Free bus trips to support local residents to use the new cross-river bus services which will run through the tunnel (Route 108, 129 and SL4) for at least 12 months.

Unfortunately the SL4 (formerly the X239) pretty much doesn’t stop in Greenwich borough as seen on the dashed line below when heading from Grove Park to Canary Wharf.

Initial mooted plans for up to 37.5 buses per hour have reduced to 20 – and that includes the existing 108 route.

Bus routes through the tunnel

That means no direct bus from east Greenwich to Canary Wharf. Complaints have also been raised regrading no buses to east London from growth areas such as Kidbrooke nor Eltham.

The 129 route currently runs from Lewisham to Greenwich and will extend east after crossing the tunnel towards Beckton.

Existing route 108 remains running through the Blackwall tunnel.

Woolwich DLR station
  • Free DLR journeys for at least 12 months between Cutty Sark – Island Gardens and Woolwich Arsenal – King George V.

These mirror foot tunnel routes which regularly see lifts broken down. One at the Woolwich foot tunnel has been out of use since 2022 so a definite benefit there for those unable to use stairs.

Blue badge holders are also exempt from charges.

TfL state tolls will mitigate against increased traffic levels. However Victoria Rance from Stop the Silvertown Tunnel coalition states:

“We welcome this consultation on the toll regime. No new tolls would be necessary on river crossings in South East London if it were not for The Mayor’s plan to open this new four lane motorway tunnel to cars and HGVs. He has created a toxic problem which he aims to solve by unjust tolls.

“The Silvertown Tunnel creates extra capacity for 20-30,000 vehicles with corresponding increases in congestion, pollution, and carbon emissions. The tolls are being proposed to keep that extra traffic down to the existing 100,000 vehicles a day which currently use Blackwall Tunnel. And also to pay back the £2.5 billion loan in this PFI deal.

“But we all know that new roads make new traffic and that new traffic, including non-ULEZ-compliant HGVs, will be going through already highly polluted parts of Greenwich and into Newham, the most polluted borough in London, where thousands of children are already exposed to illegal levels of air pollution.”

 

 

 

 

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    12 thoughts on “TfL reveal £4 peak car toll for Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels from next year

    • They’re charging motorbikes? That seems incredibly tight. They hardly cause much congestion.

      Reply
      • Because it’s not about congestion, never was, it’s about raising revenue.

        Reply
      • Motorbikes should be exempt. They have less impact regards pollution and are not a cause of congestion. Paying £5 return on top of fuel and maintenance to commute to work in central London, just because you happen to live in the south east of the city is not on. Not to mention most people in SE London didn’t want the new tunnel

        Reply
        • Electric motorbikes should be except, the amount of noise pollution from regular motorbikes in urban areas means efforts to discourage them should be welcomed.

          Totally right that the blasted tunnel shouldn’t have been built and people don’t want it. Should’ve just put a toll on the existing tunnel and not bothered with the new tunnel.

          Reply
          • ULEZ compliant motorbikes are also subject to noise restrictions. It’s a matter for the police to fine for non-road legal exhausts, the same as should happen for non-OEM car exhausts

            Reply
        • It costs about £9 return to go to central London on the Elizabeth line. If I wanted to take the dlr from Woolwich to North Woolwich or from Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs, it would cost about £4 return. Why shouldn’t drivers pay a small contribution to use infrastructure built at great public expense? Why shouldn’t motorbike riders?

          Reply
    • Such a balls up of a project.

      Those who oppose it think it should have far better public transport elements as two bus routes is very weak.

      Those who support new road crossings think its the wrong location as feeds into existing overcrowded roads.

      Why on earth Khan ever continued this Boris Johnson project is beyond me.

      Reply
      • I totally agree with you Rob. Public transport through the Silvertown Tunnel needs to be significantly improved. originally 5 bus routes were plannev to serve the Silvertown Tunnel. Khan cut this back to two bus routes. One of which is an express route X239 which will be on stop between Sun in the Sands and orchard Place in the Eastend meaning it will mot be much use for local residents. Living near the Tunnel on both sides of the river.

        There are no bus routes from Eltham. Kidbrooke. Thamesmead. Abbey Wood Plumstead, Woolwich, Charlton serving the new Silvertown Tunnel..Route 129 will serve Lewisham and Greenwich serving Silvertown Tunnel when extended towards Beckton
        So again TFl., Mayor of London (Khan) backed. by Greenwuch Council Labour Administation largely ignored improving bus ervices/publuc transport in the Borough despite major redevelopment taking place in many areas of the Borough seeing and an increase in the local population which will put pressure on existing services.
        The Blackwall Tunnel should have remain free for all. They do not care about air pollution or traffic congestion made worse by floating bus stops which adds to congestion as vehicles cannot pass buses stopped at the bus stops.
        It is purely a money grabbing scheme by TFL and Mayor of London (Khan)

        .

        Reply
    • These plans are years if not decades in the making, as you need to have some accountability for the expenditure at every stage. Rush things through without oversight and you get the PPE debacle, or the state of the new build hospitals (privately owned by US firms, who are the sole suppliers for every replacement part in the building, from £55 tube lights to £300 grab rails).

      As for the necessity, ELRIC was by far the better alternative, but it was challenged relentlessly by the local Conservative Councils and eventually abandoned. A shame as this tunnel is absolutely necessary, but at such a poor site the gains would be marginal at best.

      Reply
    • Labour controlled Greenwich Council backed the Silvertown Tunnel. But then tried to distance themselves from the Silvertown Tunnel iwhen people stepped up their campaigns against the tunnel and ULEZ expansion which Greenwich Council also backed.
      We should still be protesting about ULEZ expansion across Greater London as now Sadiq Khan Mayor For London backed by a Labour Government. There will be no stopping him. Pay per mile could be Introduced has despite his denials the Mayor of London has had a team working on this at City Hall for sometime which was confirmed by other members in City Hall.

      Reply
      • What’s wrong with pay-per-mile?

        The government builds and maintains a road for all to use. The more you drive on it, the more wear-and-tear, traffic and pollution you cause, which costs everyone else.

        Pay-per-mile is the perfect way to make those who use the roads the most pay the most for the roads, and those who use them least pay the least.

        We actually already have a pay-per-mile scheme in the form of fuel duty. While not hypothecated, the more you drive the more fuel duty you pay, which can be put towards maintaining the transport system. The problem is that as people switch away from ICE to EV, the link between what you pay and what you use will get weaker.

        Bring on pay-per-mile!

        Reply

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