TfL is stepping up fines against repeat offenders at Rotherhithe Tunnel after imposing weight and height restrictions on drivers over one year ago and installing cameras since February.
The new cameras at the Rotherhithe Tunnel are to enforce fines of up to £130.
The cameras have been checking that vehicles comply with a ban on goods vehicles weighing over two tonnes or cars higher than two metres using the tunnel.
However traffic bosses have said that for the first two weeks, they simply sent letters to drivers caught breaking the rules rather than issuing fines. TfL then said it ‘used its discretion to limit prohibited vehicles to one fine per day.’
But now from Monday (December 2) any drivers caught will receive a fine for each journey through the tunnel.
TfL warned that the tunnel, built in 1908, was not designed to cope with modern levels of traffic – and drivers breaking the restrictions were “putting themselves and others at risk.”
The agency had previously said it had turned away an average of 600 vehicles a day from using the tunnel since the restrictions were introduced in September 2018. They are now working on proposals physically to stop vehicles higher than two metres entering the tunnel.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Augmentin Management, said: “These restrictions are absolutely essential to ensure that people can continue to use the tunnel safely. People driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not meet the restrictions are putting both themselves and others at risk.”
Cars that are not allowed to use the Rotherhithe Tunnel should cross the river at Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, added TfL.
The restrictions have proved controversial since they were introduced. One mother told the News that the restrictions added “literally hours” onto journeys for a specially-adapted minibus which takes her disabled daughter to-and-from school.
However, TfL has insisted that the changes were necessary to ensure that people could use the tunnel safely. It will set out plans for the future of the tunnel next autumn as part of its annual Business Plan on how it intends to finance continuous repairs needed. to the structure.