Blackwall and Silvertown tunnel tolls and concessions revealed

Proposed tolls for the Blackwall and new Silvertown tunnel were revealed by Transport for London (TfL) this morning as it launched an eight-week consultation.

Car drivers will be charged up to £4 per journey to use either tunnel from next Spring, TfL said.

A peak hours levy of £4 will be imposed on northbound trips from 6am to 10am and southbound trips from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays.

There will be an off-peak rate of £1.50 at all other times between 6am and 10pm, including at weekends.

There will be no charge between 10pm and 6am on any day of the week.

The Blackwall tunnel – which carries traffic under the Thames in two two-lane tunnels, one northbound and one southbound – has been free to use since it first opened in 1897.

The new levies, which will start as soon as the Silvertown tunnel opens in 2025, will be the same for both tunnels. TfL said this was necessary to ensure traffic levels did not increase as a result of drivers using one uncharged crossing. 

TfL has set out a package of concessions and discounts for when the Silvertown tunnel opens.

Londoners on low incomes can apply for a 50 per cent discount if they live in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. They need to be in receipt of a Government benefit such as income support or jobseekers allowance.

NHS staff and patients will be able to get the charge reimbursed.

Small businesses in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich can apply for a £1 discount on the off-peak charge for at least a year.

Drivers will have to register their vehicle with TfL’s free “Auto Pay” system – already in use for the congestion charge – to obtain the off-peak discount. Drivers who fail to use Auto Pay will be charged £4 throughout the day.

Drivers who fail to pay the correct levy face a £180 fine, reduced to £90 if paid within a fortnight. 

Minibuses, coaches, black taxis, drivers with “blue badges” and minicabs that can take wheelchairs or are “zero emission capable” will be exempt.

In an effort to encourage Londoners out of their cars, the new Superloop route through the Silvertown tunnel will be free for at least a year for journeys that start in Newham, Tower Hamlets or Greenwich.

Image of Greenwich Portal entrance (Picture: TfL)

During the eight-week TfL consultation, Londoners will be able to comment on the proposed tunnel user charges, discounts and exemptions.

Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the tolls and discounts could be amended. 

The Silvertown tunnel, which will cost about £2.2billion in construction and loan repayment fees, links Silvertown in east London to the Greenwich Peninsula. The project began under Boris Johnson.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, pressed ahead with the plans – despite criticism from environmental activists – to ease the delays suffered on approach roads to the Blackwall tunnel.

He 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.”

But, toll proposals have already come under fire from Green Party London Assembly member, Caroline Russell, who said, “‘more cars is not the answer”.

She said: “If the Mayor truly wants London to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, filling London’s streets with more cars via the Silvertown Road Tunnel is not the answer.

“The Tunnel is creating more road capacity and will simply lead to traffic jams and more pollution.”

TfL’s director of strategy Christina Calderato said: “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. 

“This proposed package of supporting measures aims to ensure the scheme is green and fair for Londoners and businesses.”

The consultation can be viewed at

Pictured top: The inside of the new Silvertown Tunnel (Picture: TfL)

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