A reminder that, from this month, enforcement cameras are in place in the Rotherhithe Tunnel in London in a bid to increase safety and deter vehicles that do not meet the current safety restrictions from using the route. Vehicles more than two metres (six foot six inches) wide or two metres high, or goods vehicles weighing more than two tonnes, are not permitted to travel through the tunnel. From early February, these restricted vehicles could be subject to a fine of up to £130.
With Road and Transport Enforcement Officers currently turning away an average of 600 vehicles a day, FORS operators are reminded to adhere to compliant, safe and efficient routes in accordance with Bronze requirement O1 ‘Routing’. Transport for London (TfL) is advising drivers with prohibited vehicles to use Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel routes to cross the Thames instead – the congestion charge does not apply to either crossing.
The tunnel, which was built in 1908, was not designed to cope with modern levels of traffic. TfL carried out detailed analysis of the tunnel’s ventilation system, which showed that new restrictions were vital to ensure road users could continue to use the tunnel safely whilst TfL worked on its plans for the tunnel’s future. Enforcing these restrictions means the tunnel can remain open and safe for all non-restricted users.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Network Management, said: “Safety is our top priority and these restrictions are absolutely essential to ensure that people can continue to use the tunnel safely. People driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not meet the restrictions are putting both themselves and others at risk. I would encourage all users of the tunnel to check that their vehicle is below two metres in height and width, and that goods vehicles are less than two tonnes in weight, so that they are compliant when the new cameras are switched on.”
More information is available at tfl.gov.uk/Rotherhithe-tunnel.