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Blackwall Tunnel Closure

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Monday 12 July 2010 7.32am
Traffic was awful over the weekend. Reason: disjointed plans. Why couldn't the traffic lights be re-timed (from Greenwich down to Tower Bridge) to allow for the masses of extra traffic? A few seconds extra on the lights would've made all the difference. We didn't move for 20mins because cars were caught by lights furtheru which turned red every time ours turned green. Appalling. (this was from charlton all the way to tooley street and beyond
Monday 12 July 2010 7.54am
it was pretty bad just trying to cross TBR into Abbey Street was a problem as many cars simply ignored the yellow box and blocked the road. Jamaica road was also bad.

Having said that it is better that they do it now than in a couple of weeks when the kids break up and everyone is trying to get away.
Monday 12 July 2010 10.26am
The traffic was terrible on saturday, from jamaica road all the way to greenwich because both rotherithe & blackwall tunnels were both closed on the hottest day of the year it took me 2 hours to do a 12 mile journey what fun, for me & my grandaughter
Monday 12 July 2010 10.56am
JonR wrote:
I'm sure that if I said some sweeping bad generalization about taxi drivers, Tom Pepper would quite rightly be annoyed at me.
And therefore I'm a bit miffed that the general feeling here is so against road works, and traffic congestion.

The roads in London are currently going through a larger than usual amount of road works, mostly to do with Thames Water replacing all of the Victorian metal mains water piping with plastic ones that will last longer, and require less maintenance, and have less leakage.

All road works across London are coordinated to reduce the risk of roads near each other being dug up at the same time. Councils can put in place 'section 58' agreements that mean that no one can dig up a road for x number of months after a major resurfacing (unless it's an emergency repair), Utilities are working together so that roads are only dug up once for several things (like gas and water along Borough High St), and all road works in London can be found in one place on one website public access to Londonworks where the public can see what's planned for the future.

all roads and streetworks require a permit before they're allowed to begin, which includes start and end dates (duration), and there are heavy fines in place for contractors that overrun these deadlines (both for the highway authority (local council), the contractor, and the sub contractor actually doing the work). This is part of legislation under the New Roads and Streetworks Act. Utilites, and councils have been fined lots of money for overunning streetworks, and maintenance firms have lost contracts because of this too. So there is plenty at stake.

Most road works are carried out at times outside of the busiest road usage periods (because while doing work, they require more space for machinery, and lorries delivering or picking up materials, and plant), so mostly when you drive past, there will be no one on site. Contractors can only work so many hours a shift, and so many hours a week, and employing 3 shifts to do one job 24 hours a day, is very unusual, and only likely on a major job that needs to be done quickly, as it's just too expensive to pay the workforce all the extra for unsociable hours. Working outside of normal hours is also unusual, as you need to get extra permits, and fulfill further obligations if you're working at night, or over the weekend.

Road closures are often tried to be avoided, but are sometimes necessary under health and safety legislation, and the Health and Safety Executive have also fined companies for not implementing sufficient safegaurds for either public on/near to a site, and also workers on site.

As mentioned in the article linked, it was a very harsh winter just gone, and this has caused more than the normal amount of potholes, and these are being dealt with, but councils only have so much budget, and the worst roads are usually done first.

Once Thames Water have finished upgrading the mains water pipes, things should be return to a lower level, but there will always be road works, because road surfaces deteriorate over time.

and just to add, I work for a highways department for a local London Borough.

Bit confused when you plead a hard time concerning coordinated road works when both tunnels were apparently closed on the same day....traffic planners do not seem to have a proper overview at all. Compalints about road works close by to each other abound in be honest I feel you are either deluded, brainwashed by your own department publicity or being defensive and just not being honest about the situation.
Monday 12 July 2010 1.02pm
urbanite - I think you've misunderstood about the tunnels. It was planned to have both tunnels affected. The Blackwall tunnel is partially closed for repairs/works of some sort. To allow for traffic to go both north and south they used Rotherhithe for southbound only and Blackwall northbound only.
Wednesday 14 July 2010 12.05pm
Possel wrote:
....- why should I have to give up an hour of my evening just because people can't do their job properly?

Why indeed?
If not you? - who else?
If you don't, and no one else does either (because of the feeling as you), the perpetrator will never learn that what they're doing is illegal, and highly dangerous, and will continue to do it, until such time as there is a sufficiently serious accident.
Who's fault will it be when a child runs out into the road, because he can't get round the badly put out barriers, and gets run down by a lorry? Who will feel guilty that they saw the badly placed barriers only the other day, but couldn't be arsed to complain to anyone about it, as it wasn't their responsibility?

I really am glad you're moving out of London soon too. good for you, I hope you'll be happier.
Wednesday 14 July 2010 4.35pm
Tunnel closures again this weekend according to the matrix signs in Jamaica Road.
Bonne fĂȘte tout le monde,
(Juillet quatorze aujourdhui)
Bastille day today.
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