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Blackwall Tunnel, London
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This London tunnel is about to introduce a toll fee for drivers

The new charge will apparently go towards maintenance costs and helping to control traffic levels

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Road users in east London, we’ve got some bad news. The Blackwall Tunnel, one of the capital’s busiest and most important Thames crossings, will soon be subject to a toll fee.

The crossing, which runs beneath the Thames between Greenwich and Poplar, is currently one of only a few river crossing points in east London. Blackwall actually consists of two tunnels: the first was built in 1897 and the second added 70 years later. 

So, why is a toll being introduced? Well, it’s to do with the brand-new Silvertown Tunnel. While still under construction, when opened in 2025 the Silvertown Tunnel will link Greenwich and Newham – and so also provide a cross-Thames road link in east London. 

According to the TfL website, the Silvertown Tunnel will help ease congestion and improve journey times. In order to fund the upkeep of the tunnel, however, it’ll have a toll. Therefore, in order to encourage drivers to use both tunnels, a toll will be introduced at the Blackwall Tunnel, too. 

TfL have said that a toll both the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels will pay for building and maintenance, but also help control levels of traffic. Plus, any surplus revenue will apparently be reinvested into the city’s wider transport network. 

What will the Blackwall Tunnel charge be?

The exact amount of the toll hasn’t yet been announced, though all the way back in 2012 the idea was floated that cars could be charged £2, vans £2.50 and lorries £5. It was also suggested that rates could increase at rush hour. However, it must be stressed that these rates are by no means confirmed. 

Whatever happens with the Blackwall Tunnel toll, we can expect it to come into effect in 2025. Watch this space for further updates. 

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