Rotherhithe Tunnel set to shut for five days to repair fire safety system

Updated: Jan 7

Chris Lordan / Rotherhithe Tunnel Entrance, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Rotherhithe Tunnel will be fully closed for five days and nights to repair the tunnel’s fire safety system.

The Rotherhithe Tunnel will be fully closed from 10am on 11 January to 5am on 16 January to repair the fire safety system. lt will also close to people walking and cycling during this time.

According to Transport for London (TfL) they regularly inspect and maintain its tunnels to ensure that they are safe to use. Repairs to the tunnel's fire water main are needed now to ensure that the tunnel's hydrants work properly in the event of a fire. A full closure of the tunnel is required to safely complete these repairs. 

Alternative routes will be in place via the Blackwall Tunnel and Tower Bridge during the closure. The current size and weight restrictions, which prohibit vehicles more than two metres high, two metres wide or goods vehicles weighing more than two tonnes from entering the tunnel, remain in place and will continue to remain in place after the closure. 

Glynn Barton, TfL's Director of Network Management, said: "Safety is our top priority, and this urgent five-day closure of the Rotherhithe Tunnel is essential to ensure the tunnel remains safe for people to use.  I'd like to ask people in the area who need to travel to plan ahead for their journeys and continue to follow the vital safety restrictions which remain in place at the tunnel." 

The City of London Corporation will also be carrying out essential works on Southwark Bridge, which will result in a full southbound closure of the crossing between 11 January and 22 February. Traffic will be diverted via Upper Thames Street, Puddle Dock, Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars Bridge, Blackfriars Road and Southwark Street. 

Since February 2019, enforcement of the weight restriction in the Rotherhithe Tunnel has been carried out by cameras and people driving prohibited vehicles through the tunnel can receive a fine of up to £130 for each journey they make through the tunnel.

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