Blackwall Tunnel - revealed: TfL unpaid toll fines could top £50m in first year after Silvertown Tunnel opens

TfL has projected that 15% of charges for using the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels will go unpaid in the first year.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Fines issued due to tolls going unpaid by motorists using the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels could total more than £50 million in the first year, according to projections used by Transport for London (TfL).

Charges are due to be introduced on both east London Thames crossings in 2025, when the Silvertown Tunnel is completed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

TfL has yet to set the price for motorists, but in December mayor of London Sadiq Khan referenced revenue projections of £123 million in the first year, based on indicative charges used for a development consent order (DCO) application in 2016 - at £4 per journey.

Following a freedom of information request, LondonWorld can reveal that the working assumption at the time was a 15% failure to pay the charge in the first year, bringing in £54 million in fines.

TfL says the non-payment numbers would be expected to reduce over time and that a marketing campaign would be used to raise public awareness.

The remaining £69 million in revenue would come from toll payments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The original proposal for the tolls came during Boris Johnson's mayoralty and was signed off by Theresa May's government.

A TfL spokesperson said: The purpose of introducing a user charge for the Silvertown and Blackwall tunnels is to manage traffic effectively, and deliver the expected environmental and economic benefits.

"It was first proposed in 2012 and forms part of the planning consent for the Silvertown Tunnel and was formally approved by government ministers in 2018. The planning consent requires TfL to manage traffic levels and environmental impact and introducing these charges has been a long-standing way to comply with the planning requirements. The level of user charge has not yet been agreed, and TfL is working on proposals for a set of discounts for people on low income in the local area. These will be confirmed closer to the tunnel opening date in 2025.” The new toll on the Blackwall Tunnel has faced opposition from motorists, while the Silvertown Tunnel has faced criticism on environmental grounds.