Car drivers could be charged £4 every time they use the Blackwall tunnel or Silvertown tunnel, according to official documents and amid plans by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
The Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, has approved a request from Transport for London (TfL), to install road signs which inform drivers of the toll they may have to pay to use the tunnels.
Presently, the Blackwall tunnel which carries traffic under the Thames is a two-lane tunnel heading northbound and southbound and is free to use.
The Silvertown tunnel, which links Silvertown to the Greenwich Peninsula in east London will be a four-lane tunnel and will open in 2025, which coincides with when the toll is scheduled to be actioned.
The documents published on the Department for Transport website, as reported in the Evening Standard, suggest the tunnels will be tolled between 6am and 10pm.
Motorcyclists will pay up to £3, car drivers up to £4 and other vehicles up to £8.50. Drivers will apparently be charged for each crossing, not for a return journey.
Other drafted signs include notification signs and those that instruct a driver of the final exit to take before the tunnels’ charge kicks in.
But the signs are not final, and charges could change further, official documents state.
TfL has insisted no decision has been made, and the figures were simply “placeholders” used to illustrate the design of the sign.
A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said: “In order to obtain necessary approvals for the new road signage required for the Silvertown Tunnel, a submission for the potential signs has been made to the Department for Transport. No charges have been finalised yet and any times and costs within the submission are indicative to allow for approval to be obtained.”
They added: “The final charges will be made ahead of the Silvertown Tunnel opening in 2025 once further modelling, including assessments on concessions, are completed.”
Mr Khan has been accused of hypocrisy for building the Silvertown tunnel while campaigning globally on air pollution and climate change. The aim of building the tunnel is to ease the burden on the Blackwall tunnel and reduce car emissions as it currently experiences high levels of congestion, especially during peak hours.
Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan rolled out a controversial major Ulez expansion earlier this month and owners of cars not compliant with emissions limits are forced to pay £12.50 per day to drive across Greater London.
This decision resulted in angry drivers resorting to illegal measures to avoid being caught on Ulez cameras, with the Met Police recording around 500 attacks from Ulez cameras from April to August 2023.