Rotherhithe tunnel has bends in it for a very good reason - when it was originally built, the 'traffic' going through was horse and cart. As horses are known to bolt when coming out of tunnels, when they see the light at the end, the tunnel was engineered with bends in so that horses were in the dark for as long as possible, and only saw the light at the end, at the latest possible moment, thus reducing the amount of 'boltage' induced.
The current speed limit is in place, because it's simply not safe to drive down that tunnel any faster.
Anyone who has cycled across Tower Bridge will understand why the limit is 20mph, though I agree that the signs could be much more noticable. I too have been crossing this bridge for years and did not realise it had a 20mph limit until I read postings on this forum.
Agreed that I need my head examined but if you're a confident/foolhardy soul then it does help to slow down traffic! I don't know what the general concensus is but for me The Elephant is a no-go ... Hyde Park Corner is a dawdle in comparison.
Personally do not find tower bridge too bad to cycle over and have even just about mastered waterloo bridge if approached from southwark street but cycling along waterloo road northwards in the morning past all the buses is pretty scary and Aldwych is the scariest place I've cycled recently.
I cycle to work through the Rotherhithe tunnel (because it's quicker), and home again across Tower Bridge (because I like it).
The 20mph limit doesn't affect me - I cross around 7ish each evening and the speed is more like 5mph for cars. But I'm glad it's there - crossing the Thames is one of the most potentially lethal things you can do on a bike in London.
I did nearly get run over by a driver watching a dashboard mounted DVD player last week on the bridge though.
I recently received a fixed penalty of £60 plus 3 points for exceeding the 20mph speed limit on the bridge whilst travelling northwards.. The camera's recording 32mph. Fair cop you might say !
Well i would agree except that the 20mph sign is within 50/60 yards of the cameras which are mounted on a high gantry, on the bridge approach .There are no sign/s giving advanced notice of the camera,s and the 20mph sign is at high level on a pole. So, the motorist concentrating on the immediate traffic and road conditions misses this one sign and the camera's high above the road.
Too bad eh, that you never used this road before or your the tourist that always wanted to drive across the bridge for the once in a life time experience or the motorist thats driven 50 miles from the suburbs ,having passed through a multitude of speed limits,road signs and camera,s enroute to
a work place. No, your all fair game for this excessively punitive enforcement of a road traffic measure ,which is implemented as a CONSERVATION excercise and NOT, as erroneously implied by other correspondents of this page ,as a road safety measure. (See the link to the corporation of London web site at ID41949). This is nothing to do with road safety!
Anyway ,foolishly or not , i am refusing the offer of paying the fixed penalty and opting for a court appearance. I will do my best to not only represent myself but the other law abiding contributors to these pages that have travelled a "Bridge too far" !
Any help and advice, legal or wise would be appreciated in this endeavour.