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In My Opinion
Blackwall Tunnel Closure
Travelling into London one evening I
picked up an Evening Standard that had
been left on a seat. I was surprised to read
a story by Simon Jenkens which stated
that no less than five North/South
Jane's Jottings 8
Thames crossings are to close this
What On 12
spring. The biggest shock was to
Historic Eltham 20
read that the Blackwall Tunnel will
Personal Eltham 25
be closed south bound from 9pm to 5am for 3 years (or more).
Young Eltham 29
Here is the trick, it is not the south bound tunnel that is being
repaired, it is the north bound, but the north bound traffic will be
Natural Eltham 30
directed through the south bound tunnel. Confused? Well you
SPY - just spy stuff 33
should be.
Mailbox - Your letters 37
A 2006 independent report commissioned by TfL Herbaceous 39
concluded that with speed management and improved
signalling the risk was no greater than anywhere else. However,
on April 20th 2007 TfL closed the contra flow lane in the
Blackwall tunnel with 48 hours notice without consultation, not
even Greenwich Council were consulted prior to the close. In
the three years leading up to the closure there were 6 accidents
Coronet Update 5
(average 2 a year) while the contra flow was in operation, none
causing a fatality.
Cultural Memory of Water 10
I have travelled through the tunnel in the contra flow
Local Tourist - see Eltham 11
lane and while it is not the most comfortable experience, it was
Local Lynx 14
no more dangerous than driving on many of London’s thin and Eltham Town centre Partnership 18
meandering roads. In fact I feel more at risk in the Rotherhithe
Hotel for fiveways 26
tunnel which still has a two way traffic system.
Street Drinking Ban 26
Surely with this extended closure it would make sense to
reintroduce the contra flow system during the evening, thus
Community Hospital 27
reducing the disruption, after all it is only between 9pm and
Bird Watch 30
5am and hardly peak traffic. Safety could be introduced with
Women's Institute 31
permanent plastic lane guides to prevent overtaking in the Disgraceful Toilets in Eltham 34
tunnel, which was cited as a problem, as well as a 20 mph speed
Eltham Centre Fire 35
restriction monitored by average speed cameras.
There were suggestions that the original closure was
because of the 1999 Mont Blanc fire disaster. The two can hardly
be compared. The Mont Blanc tunnel is nearly 12 km long while
the Blackwall is just over 1km long and if fire is really an issue, put
in sprinklers. The Mont Blanc fire was caused by a truck fire, not a
Principal: Mark Wall
collision, so ban large trucks and hazardous loads from entering
Editor: John Webb
the tunnel. There we have it, problem sorted.
Ads: 0845 257 1993
I also find the timing of this odd. With the Olympics just
over two years away, it means that this situation will exist during
the event. Publisher: SEnine Ltd:
We all know that TfL is a law unto itself, and our protector
PO Box 24290, Eltham,
Mayor Boris Johnson seems not to care about anything south of
Cover: Aquatint print called Eltham Kent
the Thames. Therefore we appear
Do you know where it is?
powerless to do anything
Enjoy life:
Cameo - Eltham High Street
about these decisions. Enjoy Eltham
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