The southbound Blackwall Tunnel will be closed this weekend, Transport for London has confirmed, so utility work can be carried out on the new Silvertown Tunnel.
TfL will close the tunnel, from Poplar to the Greenwich Peninsula, from 00.01 on Saturday July 8 to 05.00 on Monday July 10, with drivers needing to find alternative routes.
The northbound tunnel will remain open, but bus route 108 will be split in both directions, running from Lewisham to North Greenwich and Canning Town to Stratford International, except for the early hours of the Monday morning when southbound buses will run via Tower Bridge.
TfL says bus passengers will not be charged for trips between Canning Town and North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line. The Woolwich Ferry will operate a one boat service every 15-20 minutes between 7am and 6pm.
This will be third weekend closure of the Blackwall Tunnel this year as work on its controversial neighbour steps up. The previous two closures, in March and last month, were to enable the installation of a new footbridge across the A102 and the removal of the original bridge to accommodate a new flyover.
The latest closure is for new drainage and utility ducting to be installed underneath the approach road, which will serve both the Blackwall Tunnel and the Silvertown Tunnel when it opens in 2025.
Work on the controversial new tunnel, which will include a dedicated lane for HGVs and buses, is now dominating much of the Greenwich Peninsula. One bore of the tunnel has already been dug from the Royal Docks, the machine is now being turned around so it can dig the second bore.
While London mayor Sadiq Khan claims the new tunnel – between the Royal Docks and the peninsula – is needed to deal with persistent traffic jams at the Blackwall Tunnel, critics say that it will simply add to congestion and pollution across a wider area. Khan has branded critics – who include senior members of his own Labour Party – a “vocal minority” who live in “never-never land”.
Last week Greenwich councillors called on Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to rework the tunnel so that it prioritised public transport and cycling. Majella Anning, a Labour councillor, branded the £2 billion road project a “ticking timebomb” waiting to go off in the borough.
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