Bridge over troubled water? More like troubled bridge over water…Tower Bridge is set to close to vehicles for 3 months starting from October. Just when we thought we’d seen the worst of London traffic following the Cycle Superhighway construction closures across the city, it has been revealed that the 122-year-old Victorian landmark will be closed to vehicles and bicycles while it undergoes maintenance. And with some 21,000 vehicles use the crossing every day….black cab drivers have calculated that even the shortest river crossing could take up to 30 minutes longer at peak times. Ugh.
While it’s no surprise that the ol’ bridge needs a bit of a makeover – works include resurfacing the road and pavements, waterproofing of the arches (which were last worked on when they were built in in the 19th century) and rust removal – but the 40,00 motorists and pedestrians that use it are undoubtedly going to be a bit peeved off…pedestrians will also be banned from the bridge for three weekends during the works. But, for that there is the possibility of a free ferry moving them across the river which sounds quite fun…although, unsurprisingly, not everybody has taken this news so lightly. Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said: “Why couldn’t this be done in August, the quietest time of the year? It’s going to be chaotic as Tower Bridge is on the edge of the congestion zone and you can cross without paying. This highlights the absolute farce of London not having another river crossing. We’re the greatest city on the planet and we can’t cross the river.” Fair point. Although Transport for London have said that the £11.50 daily Congestion Charge would be waived for drivers using alternative bridges such as Southward Bridge and London Bridge.
We think we’d rather swim, thanks.
Featured Image Credit: Pixaby