Drivers' fury as TfL set to impose toll on the Blackwall Tunnel - as Sadiq Khan risks another clash with motorists

15 August 2023, 12:38 | Updated: 15 August 2023, 13:12

Sadiq Khan risks another fight with motorists
Sadiq Khan risks another fight with motorists. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Drivers are facing another clobbering in London after it emerged a toll will be imposed at the Blackwall Tunnel - one of the Thames' busiest crossings.

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Thousands use the free road to drive into south London and South East England on their commute every day.

Transport for London said it will start charging a fee based on the type of vehicle after the Silvertown Tunnel, a separate crossing at Greenwich heading towards east London, opens in 2025.

It has not been confirmed how much it will cost to cross.

Read more: 'Absolute hatred!': Mother of four discusses Ulez after Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan clash

The incoming charge will infuriate motorists who have already been upset by the imminent imposition of Ulez across all of London.

Drivers whose vehicles don't meet emissions standards will need to pay £12.50 a day to get around.

Blackwall Tunnel will cost drivers to use
Blackwall Tunnel will cost drivers to use. Picture: Alamy

One courier business feared: "Londoners will just pick up the extra costs for goods brought in as companies with commercial vehicles delivering will simply pass on any extra charges!"

A Twitter user said: "Increased Congestion Charge, expanded ULEZ and now a potential toll on the Blackwall Tunnel, only the rich will be able to afford driving in London before too long, when will this madness stop?"

Another wrote: "Serious bad news, Blackwall Tunnel to get a toll fee! Not only are we being subjected to #ULEZ, but also have to pay for Blackwall tunnel as well. @sadiqkhan London Mayor & @tfl, please explain why you continue to hurt London motorists?"

It could set up another clash between Sadiq Khan and motorists, who already face the Ulez expansion, the congestion charge and low traffic neighbourhoods.

Sadiq Khan faces another clash with drivers
Sadiq Khan faces another clash with drivers. Picture: Alamy

There is speculation over whether Rishi Sunak will position the Tories as pro-motorist and quietly drop eco-causes ahead of the next election.

His party held onto Boris Johnson's old seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip after they turned it into an effective referendum on Ulez.

Sadiq Khan has insisted the scheme is vital for cutting air pollution, claimed most cars used in London on an average day are compliant, and allocated tens of millions in expanding a scrappage scheme to help people, businesses and charities replace cars that don't fit the requirements.

But with the next election looming, a wary Sir Keir Starmer has warned against anti-air pollution schemes that hit the worst-off Brits and said cities should think of other ways of approaching the problem.

Recently, Sunak ordered a review of low traffic neighbourhoods, which shut off some routes to cars.

Critics complain about them pushing more vehicles into other roads and fearing for their impact on emergency services.

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