Drivers will be charged using these two London tunnels

Drivers will be charged using these two London tunnels

Blackwall Tunnel is currently free but will become a toll road when the Silvertown Tunnel opens in 2025 (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Car drivers who travel through two tunnels in London could be charged £4 each time from next year it has been revealed.

The proposals by TfL (Transport for London) would mean anyone using the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels in the east of the capital during peak hours would be charged.

Peak hours are 6am to 10am northbound on weekdays and southbound between 4pm and 7pm, under plans outlined in the eight-week consultation.

But for drivers who use AutoPay, the automated charging system, they will only have to pay £1.50 during off-peak journeys.

For drivers who use other payment methods during off-peak hours they will still be charged £4 per trip.

People who use the Blackwall Tunnel now can do so for free but when the £2 billion Silvertown Tunnel also opens in 2025 this is when charges will apply.

The planned fees for other vehicles are £2.50 and £1.50 for motorbikes and mopeds, £6.50 and £2.50 for large vans, and £10 and £5 for heavy goods vehicles depending on the time of day. Small vans will pay the same as cars.

These fees are planned for both tunnels to ‘manage traffic and pay back construction costs’ of the Silvertown Tunnel.

It is hoped the new tunnel will ease congestion in the area (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

The tunnels will be free to use overnight for all vehicles, according to TfL.

But for those who fail to pay the charges during the day they will be fined a hefty £180.

There are also exemptions for some people across the capital and other vehicles too.

This includes buses, coaches, black taxis, blue badge holders registered in the capital, and zero-emission capable private hire vehicles.

Discounts will also apply to people who are on low incomes who are eligible for benefits, charities, sole traders, and some small businesses.

The discount for those on low incomes is expected to be 50% for those living in 12 east and south east boroughs and they can contact their local council for support.

For charities, small business, and sole traders, they must have been registered in the boroughs of Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, and Newham.

Despite the proposed charge, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan argued it would help reduce pollution around the Blackwall Tunnel.

But climate activists argue that despite this the new Silvertown crossing will still increase traffic and air pollution.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the development of the new tunnel (Picture: PA)

In relation to Silvertown, he said it ‘will help deliver quicker, more reliable journeys in east London by easing congestion and making journeys up to 20 minutes faster’.

TfL director of strategy Christina Calderato also 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.’

Mr Khan’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was expanded last August and caused controversy with some drivers.

Like with the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels, he said this will improve London’s air quality by discouraging drivers from using old vehicles who pay a daily £12.50 charge.

Dozens of activists stormed Downing Street at the time in protest over the fact that it had been expanded to all 32 London boroughs.

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