Sadiq Khan to charge drivers £4 a day to use tunnels under plans to make journeys '20 minutes faster'

Sadiq Khan and the Blackwall Tunnel

Sadiq Khan has praised the benefits the tunnels will have for congestion in east London

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 10/07/2024

- 10:35

Updated: 10/07/2024

- 11:32

The London Mayor said the tunnels would address 'chronic congestion and pollution' issues

Drivers will be charged up to £4 to use two new tunnels in the capital under new plans outlined by Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London.

As part of a new eight-week consultation, Transport for London is asking for the opinions of drivers in the capital about the level of charges for the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels.

Proposals suggest that at peak times, drivers would charged £4. This would be on weekdays between 6am and 10am northbound or between 4pm and 7pm southbound.

People using Auto Pay, which is the preferred payment option for the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone, will have to pay £1.50 for off-peak journeys.

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Blackwall Tunnel

Charges could be introduced as soon as spring next year


Developments on the Silvertown Tunnel are expected to conclude in the spring of next year and will connect Silvertown with the Greenwich Peninsula.

The overarching aim of the new tunnel is to relieve pressure on the Blackwall Tunnel, which deals with severe congestion on a daily basis. It is currently free to use.

Commenting on the new consultation, Mayor 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."

Small vans would pay the same amount as cars, while other charges have been suggested for larger methods of transport.

This includes planned fees of £2.50 and £1.50 for both motorbikes and mopeds, £6.50 and £2.50 for large vans, and £10 and £5 for heavy goods vehicles.

If drivers fail to pay the hefty charges, they could be slapped with a penalty charge notice worth £180, although it will be reduced to £90 if it is paid within two weeks.

TfL has suggested introducing discounts for certain people, including a 50 per cent discount for low-income drivers living in a dozen boroughs in the east and south-east and the City of London.

A further £1 saving on off-peak charges could be offered to small businesses, sole traders and charities in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Greenwich if they use Auto Pay. It would last for at least one year.

Christina Calderato, director of strategy at TfL, said residents and drivers were being given a say in the development of charges given the proximity to the scheduled opening of the Silvertown Tunnel.

She added: "Without introducing tunnel user charges for the Silvertown and Blackwall tunnels, there would likely be high levels of traffic and congestion, which would lead to detrimental air quality impacts, as well as longer journey times."

Other proposals in the consultation would see some cross-river bus and DLR journeys free of charge for at least a year.


The development of the tunnels has been met with protests from Extinction Rebellion and other environmental groups


This would add further charges to motorists in London, many of whom already have to deal with the Congestion Charge and Ulez, especially if their vehicle is non-compliant.

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