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TfL toll exemptions for all black taxis and 40% of PHV fleet for Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels


Image credit: TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a series of concessions and discounts, which includes full toll exemptions for licensed taxis, which aim to ease the transition when the Silvertown Tunnel opens in 2025.


East London residents and businesses have long struggled with the chronic congestion and frequent closures of the Victorian-era Blackwall Tunnel. The new Silvertown Tunnel promises to alleviate these issues, offering reduced journey times and improved air quality.

A user charge will be implemented for both tunnels from 06:00 to 22:00, seven days a week. Off-peak charges for vehicles registered with TfL AutoPay are proposed at £1.50, with peak charges higher to manage traffic.


TfL is conducting an eight-week consultation, allowing the public to comment on the proposed charges and discounts. Feedback will inform final decisions, which require TfL Board approval. Both tunnels need to be charged to prevent traffic increases from drivers avoiding fees.


Key exemptions and discounts include:

  • Automatic exemptions for all buses, coaches, and vehicles with nine seats or more.

  • Exemptions for taxis, Blue Badge holders, and wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles.

  • Zero-emission capable private hire vehicles, making up 40% of the fleet, will also be exempt.

  • NHS staff and patients eligible for reimbursement schemes will not have to pay.

  • Accredited breakdown and recovery vehicles will also be exempt.


  • Low-income drivers in 12 east and southeast London boroughs, plus the City of London, will receive a 50% discount.

  • Small businesses, sole traders, and charities in Tower Hamlets, Newham, and Greenwich will get a £1 discount on off-peak charges for at least a year.

  • Free bus journeys for one year on three cross-river routes starting in Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Greenwich, and specific DLR routes.

  • A free cycle shuttle service for at least the first year for cyclists crossing between Silvertown and North Greenwich.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Local residents and business owners currently face chronic congestion and pollution in the area around the Blackwall Tunnel. When it opens in 2025, the long-planned new Silvertown tunnel will help deliver quicker, more reliable journeys in east London by easing congestion and making journeys up to 20 minutes faster.


“The Silvertown Tunnel scheme has been years in the making, first developed back 2012. Since I become Mayor in 2016, we have worked to improve it, adding discounts for low-income residents and local businesses, new bus services, a bespoke cycle shuttle service and free cross-river bus and DLR transport for at least the first year.  


“TfL is launching this consultation to get feedback from residents and businesses on the proposals. I encourage Londoners in the area to get involved and have their say.”

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