TfL steps up initiatives to prevent Blackwall Tunnel closures


Delays at the Blackwall Tunnel caused by drivers running out of fuel have reduced following innovative trials between TfL, social navigation app Waze and Eurotunnel.

Over 36m journeys are made through the tunnel every year and it is one of the busiest sections on London’s road network.

Cars running out of petrol, and lorry drivers unaware their vehicles are over-height, cause delays at the tunnel which cost the Capital almost £7m, and result in nearly 400 hours of delays, each year.

To address this TfL has worked with Waze to remind drivers approaching the Blackwall Tunnel to have enough fuel.

Reduce delays
Over a six month period 459 drivers acted on the fuel message and re-routed to local petrol stations, reducing the risk of breaking down in the tunnel. There was also a reduction in the number of tunnel breakdowns compared to the same period last year.

The trial is part of a range of new measures by TfL to reduce delays at the tunnel. This includes working closely with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Freight to tackle the number of over-height incidents occurring at the Blackwall Tunnel.

This is caused by lorry drivers not knowing the height of their vehicles or failing to pay attention to the height restrictions displayed on approach to the tunnel. Lorries entering the UK via Eurotunnel were targeted with leaflets in 10 different languages informing drivers on the best choice between the Blackwall Tunnel and Dartford Crossing dependent on the time of day, vehicle and height restrictions.