This important London tunnel could soon close for 9 months

Are you a regular user of the Rotherhithe Tunnel? If you are, prepare for a shake-up to your usual routine, as TfL has confirmed that the Thames crossing may soon have to close for a lengthy period. 

The Rotherhithe Tunnel links Limehouse on the northern side of the Thames with Rotherhithe (duh) on the south. Well over 100 years old, the tunnel is apparently in dire need of repairs which could take nine months, starting sometime in 2025. 

Currently, the Rotherhithe Tunnel routinely closes for maintenance on Monday evenings, typically between around 9pm and 6am. The tunnel also has size restrictions – vehicles larger than two metres tall or wide or which weigh more than two tonnes can be fined up to £160 per trip. The closest alternative crossing points are Tower Bridge and the Blackwall Tunnel. 

2025 is shaping up to be quite the year for the Thames’ crossing points. The brand-new Silvertown Tunnel is set to open then, while 2025 is also the year that the Blackwall Tunnel is expected to introduce a toll fee.  

According to the Standard, a TfL spokesperson said about the closure: 

‘While we have previously completed concept designs for the full refurbishment of the Rotherhithe Tunnel, carrying this out would be a significant investment and could require the tunnel to be closed for nine months.

‘A full refurbishment would only go ahead following the opening of the Silvertown Tunnel to ensure that people can continue to cross the river. It remains vital that we secure more support from Government to renew our assets and make best use of every pound we invest in renewing our assets.’

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