The Anonymous Widower

Should There Be Limits To The Type Of Vehicles Allowed In The Blackwall And Silvertown Tunnels?

When the Silvertown Tunnel opens in 2025, the tunnel and the nearby Blackwall Tunnel will be tolled.

But will there be any restrictions on the vehicles that can use the tunnels, other than those that apply to the Blackwall Tunnel at the present time, which are detailed in Wikipedia.

The tunnels are no longer open to pedestrians, cyclists or other non-motorised traffic, and the northbound tunnel has a 4.0-metre (13.1 ft) height limit.

Note.

  1. I suspect that pedestrians, cyclists or other non-motorised traffic will also be banned from the Silverton Tunnel.
  2. But the height limit will be relaxed for the Silverton Tunnel to allow large trucks and double-deck buses to use the tunnel.

According to this web page, which is entitled the Silvertown Tunnel Bus Network Proposals, the planned buses through the tunnel include.

  • 108 – As now, with a minor route change.
  • 129 – As now, but extended from North Greenwich station to Great Eastern Quay.
  • X329 – An express bus from Grove Park station to Canary Wharf, which runs non-stop through the Silvertown Tunnel.

Note.

  1. The 108 goes through Blackwall and is a single decker bus.
  2. The 129 and the X329 will go through Silvertown and could be double decker buses.
  3. There appears to be no mention of any provision for cycles.
  4. I would assume wheelchairs, buggies and cases will be accommodated as they are on current London buses.

I also think, that the buses must be zero-carbon, which would mean battery-electric or hydrogen.

In Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles And Trains In Tunnels, I looked at the feasibility of running hydrogen buses through the tunnel and came to this conclusion.

I am confident, that we will achieve a safety regime, that allows hydrogen-powered vehicles and trains to be certified to pass through tunnels.

The great advantage of hydrogen buses on the three routes would be that they would probably only need to be filled up once a day, but electric buses might need constant charging.

Provision For Cycles

I think it is essential to have provision for cycles across the river.

  • Folded cycles can be taken almost anywhere on London’s transport system.
  • Non-folding cycles can be taken most places on London’s transport system, but the hours are restricted.
  • There’s always the Woolwich Ferry.
  • Given that the 108 bus seems to weave its way through the East End, I suspect that this bus couldn’t be longer to carry cycles.

I have seen double-deck buses, with provision for cycles at the back of the lower deck in Europe.

  • Perhaps buses like these, could be used on the 129 and X329 routes.
  • A search of the Internet found some buses in East Yorkshire with  provision for two standard cycles.
  • The 129 bus could ferry bikes between North Greenwich station and a convenient stop on the North side of the river.
  • The X329 bus could ferry bikes over the non-stop section of the route between the Sun in the Sands and Leamouth roundabouts.

There could be shorter routes adding extra capacity between the stops, where bikes are loaded and unloaded.

Large Trucks Through The Tunnel

If buses become zero-carbon through the Blackwall and Silverton Tunnels, then why shouldn’t large trucks be zero-carbon?

I think this could be the carrot combined with free passage for zero-carbon vehicles that could clean up Central London’s polluted air.

Smaller Vehicles

Why not gradually reduce the size of vehicles going through the tunnels that must be zero-carbon?

Conclusion

The Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels can be used as the drivers to clean up Central London’s air.

 

January 8, 2023 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: