Car drivers could be charged £4 to use Blackwall Tunnel

It is hoped that the new Silvertown Tunnel will reduce the queues at the Blackwall Tunnel
It is hoped that the new Silvertown Tunnel will reduce the queues at the Blackwall Tunnel - Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Drivers could be charged up to £4 to use the Blackwall Tunnel, road signs suggest, as Sadiq Khan confirmed the route will be tolled.

Signs submitted by Transport for London (TfL) for approval from the Government suggest that cars could be hit with a £4 charge, while other vehicles could face an £8.50 fee.

TfL has stressed that no fee has been finalised and any times and costs included within the submission were indicative while it seeks approval for the signs from the Department of Transport.

It comes as the Mayor of London confirmed that the Blackwall Tunnel will be tolled by 2025, alongside the Silvertown Tunnel, London’s newest tunnel under the Thames.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Khan said: “There’s nothing sudden about it.

“The intention is for both the Silvertown Tunnel and the Blackwall Tunnel to be tolled.

“What we don’t want to see is displacement as a consequence of one being tolled and not the other.”

The Blackwall Tunnel was built in 1967
The Blackwall Tunnel was built in 1967 - Peter Coppock

The fee adds to the number of charges faced by drivers in the capital, which also include the Congestion and ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) charges.

When asked if he feared a Ulez-style backlash from motorists on discovering the Blackwall Tunnel would be tolled, Mr Khan said: “There is nothing sudden about it. I think Boris Johnson was going to fund the Silvertown Tunnel using a toll as well.”

Approximately 100,000 drivers use the Blackwall Tunnel every day. The revenue made from the tolling of the tunnel will be used to help fund the construction and maintenance of the £2 billion Silvertown Tunnel.

It is being constructed under a design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) contract, with TfL only making payments once the tunnel is in operation.

A document, which included examples of signage for the tolls, was signed off earlier this year by Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary.

The documents included draft signs sent to the Transport Secretary for sign-off, suggesting vehicles would be charged between 6am and 10pm, with cars facing a £4 charge, motorcycles £3.50, and other vehicles £8.50. Drivers will be charged for each crossing, rather than a return fee.

A TfL spokesman said: “In order to obtain necessary approvals for the new road signage required for the Silvertown Tunnel, a submission for the potential signs has been made to the DfT.

“No charges have been finalised yet and any times and costs within the submission are indicative to allow for approval to be obtained.

“The final charges will be made ahead of the Silvertown Tunnel opening in 2025 once further modelling, including assessments on concessions, are completed.”

The Blackwall Tunnel is one of just a handful of crossings in east London. The only other east London crossing is the Woolwich Ferry.

TfL has estimated that the introduction of the Silvertown Tunnel will reduce delays and queues at the Blackwall Tunnel, making current journeys 20 minutes faster.