Blackwall Tunnel

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-05-23
Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Reference: 
2007/1099
Question By: 
Bob Neill
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

How many incidents have there been of cars overtaking in the tunnel during the tidal flow operation since 2005?

Answer

Answer for Blackwall Tunnel

Answer for Blackwall Tunnel

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL does not hold such information and is therefore unable to supply it however MPS footage showed regular overtaking and dangerous driving.The Metropolitan Police (MPS) has operated the peak period tidal flow at Blackwall since its introduction in 1978. The MPS advised TfL in September 2006 of its increasing concerns over risks being taken by drivers during the operation of tidal flow and its view that there was a significant and increasing risk of a serious accident occurring. In light of this, the MPS was considering withdrawal of its support in the operation of tidal flow. TfL agreed with MPS that tidal flow would continue while TfL's consultants' reports into its operation were evaluated and recommendations on whether it should continue were made. This evaluation concluded that tidal flow operation was hazardous and should be stopped. TfL therefore took the decision to withdraw tidal flow arrangements and requested that the MPS continue its operation until 30 July 2007, to allow for the necessary communication with stakeholders and the installation of signage advising motorists of the cessation of tidal flow, to enable them to consider alternative routes. However, once the decision to withdraw tidal flow had been made, the MPS took the view that there was no alternative but to curtail tidal flow operation without delay and that they would do so on 20 April 2007. In the interim, a near-fatal motorcycle collision in the southbound tunnel during tidal flow operation on 17 April, led the Police to curtail operations immediately. This, unfortunately, meant that TfL was unable to communicate, as planned, the decision, and the reasons behind it, prior to the cessation of the tidal flow.