Drivers have slammed London mayor Sadiq Khan after it emerged they will soon have to pay a toll to use the Blackwall Tunnel – one of the busiest crossings over the Thames.
Transport for London confirmed it will charge motorists who travel across the route, which thousands use to commute into the capital from the South East, from 2025. The toll will vary by vehicle and has not yet been decided.
The news will cause yet more misery for motorists who are already bracing for £12.50 daily bills for entering the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) when it expands to cover Greater London at the end of the month. The ULEZ fee will apply to vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards.
The toll for the Blackwall Tunnel will only be implemented once the Silvertown Tunnel, which will link Silvertown and Greenwich, opens in 2025.
TfL say the fee will cover the £2billion cost of building and maintaining the new passage, with any surplus ‘reinvested’ into the wider transport network.
The toll for the Blackwall Tunnel will only be implemented once the Silvertown Tunnel, which will link Silvertown and Greenwich, opens in 2025. It comes as motorists brace for the extension of Ulez later this month
The Blackwall Tunnel is one of the few crossings in the area, with only the Dartford Crossing and Woolwich Ferry further east. It is used by 100,000 vehicles every day.
After today’s announcement entrepreneur Siama Qadar condemned Mr Khan for ‘another money making scheme to batter motorists’.
She wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘Not only are we being subjected to #ULEZ, but also have to pay for Blackwall Tunnel as well. @sadiqkhan and @tfl, please explain why you continue to hurt London motorists?’
A second user wrote: ‘Yeah it’s enough now… Sadiq Khan has to go. A charge on the Blackwall Tunnel is just another tax on Londoners trying to get around.
‘We’re not seeing this money reinvested back into communities or infrastructure either, so what is the point.’
A third added, sarcastically: ‘It’s nothing to do with making money its for air quality and saving our children’s lungs.’
News drivers will soon have to pay to use the route has provoked fury among motorists
The Blackwall Tunnel, which consists of two passageways going north and south, has been free to use since it opened in 1897.
The Silvertown Tunnel is being built to ease congestion on the crossing.
After 2025, motorists will pay a fee to use either the Silvertown Tunnel or the Blackwall Tunnel.
TfL said that while the charge would be used to pay for the new route, its main purpose was to ‘manage traffic levels’.
The extended ULEZ zone, which intends to reduce air pollution emitted by toxic fumes from older vehicles, will see some drivers charged £12.50 a day. That amounts to a staggering £4,562.50 for the year.
Drivers approaching the Blackwall Tunnel in Greenwich after the start of the school holidays last month
The news comes at a sensitive time for London drivers, many of whom are worried about the looming introduction of Mr Khan’s newly extended ULEZ zone
Today, MailOnline revealed that security measures are being beefed up on ULEZ cameras in a battle to stop activists – who have called themselves ‘the Blade Runners’ – from cutting the wires.
By July Transport for London (TfL) said 200 of the cameras – being installed to catch motorists driving vehicles below the emissions standards – had been stolen or vandalised.
Pictures and footage have now emerged on TikTok and Facebook of a black metal box surrounding the cables in an apparent move to protect the wiring.
A total of 2,750 new ANPR cameras are planned to be installed across the whole of London as the deadline date for Sadiq Khan’s hated ULEZ expansion looms.
So far almost 1,900 are set up, but it is not known how many have the new defence mechanism in place.
Mr Khan’s commitment to ULEZ has caused a major split in Labour, with the party’s leader Sir Keir Starmer blaming the policy for a recent by-election loss.
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer today once again voiced his opposition to ULEZ on a visit to Scotland
Mr Starmer today urged cities to look at alternative air quality schemes as he was grilled about the controversial policy during a visit to Scotland.
The leadership was alarmed when the Tories managed to cling on in the Uxbridge & South Ruislip by-election, helped by a wave of anger at ULEZ.
But despite Sir Keir making clear he wants the approach to change, Mr Khan has insisted the move will go ahead, stressing that he has a legal obligation to ensure clean air for Londoners.
Asked whether party policy had changed this morning, Sir Keir said: ‘Let me tell you what I want to change: I want clean air.
‘I don’t think anybody in this country should be breathing dirty air, any more than I think they should be drinking dirty water.
‘What I don’t want is schemes that disproportionately impact on people in the middle of the cost-of-living crisis, so we need to look at options for achieving what we all need to achieve, which is clean air.
‘There are other ways of achieving this, so my driving principle is clean air, absolutely yes, but a proportionate way of getting there and looking at what the options are for other cities, other places doing it in different ways.’
It comes after a Labour commitment to support ‘the principle of clean air zones’ across the country was removed from a key policy document.
Labour sources have confirmed that the pledge has been officially dropped and will not make it into next year’s General Election manifesto.
Senior Tories condemned the latest U-turn by the Labour leadership, which has significantly altered several policies since Sir Keir became leader in 2020.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said Ulez expansion would ‘punish the poorest’.
He added: ‘Two-faced Starmer changes his mind as often as the wind.’
Labour Party officials pointed out that clean air zones are current government policy. A source said: ‘The Tories are the ones who have pushed councils to introduce them.’