As anyone out and about in Bexley today will have noticed, the traffic
congestion has been dreadful on main routes and the reason is that
tunnel is shut northbound. There was a vehicle fire yesterday evening close to the
northern exit and the tunnel is likely to be unusable until Wednesday.
Its hard to know which bunch of politicians to blame for the inadequate links across the Thames. Bexleys Conservatives are proud to have cut off residents from job opportunities across the river by successfully campaigning for Boris Johnson to cancel the bridge proposed by his predecessor Ken Livingstone. And we have Red Ken who banned the contra-flow in the southbound tunnel. Boris has since changed his mind and belatedly realised that cancelling the crossing was a mistake but he has so far failed to reintroduce the contra-flow he promised at election time - though infrastructure to support it appears to have been installed.
The chaos caused every time there is a problem with the tunnel is yet another example of Bexleys Conservatives council being wrong about road planning. They may claim that the bridge will have introduced additional pollution but that is only because they lacked the will and probably the skill to devise a way of confining most traffic to major roads. As a result Woolwich and Charlton suffer pollution due to standing traffic on a daily basis. Today we all reap the consequences of Bexley Conservatives short-sighted and parochial attitude.
P.S. Someone decided that the traffic chaos was just too much for London to bear and scrapped the extended safety checks planned for the next two days. The tunnel reopened this evening.