LBC vs Boris on Contraflow - Blackwall Tunnel News 12/02/2010

This morning Nick Ferrari and Boris Johnson discussed the issues surrounding contraflow operation during the refurbishment of the Blackwall Tunnel.

Nick Ferrari from LBC made the following points:
1: Why doesn't TFL open contraflow for the duration of the tunnel refurbishments.
2: The Rotherhithe tunnel operates under similar conditions.
3: Reduce speed to 20mph and stop HGV access to comply with safety. (Editor: Nick, it is already 20mph at overnight!)
4: Why does it take 3 years to renovate the tunnel when the Empire State building took 18 months to build.
5: A report in April 2006 by TFL - outlined by Nick said:
"Blackwall Tunnel Tidal Flow Report:
8.3 Assessment of tidal flow safety and whether it can be operated.
The accident risk has shown that the proportion of accidents that occur in and around tidal flow operation is not significantly higher than would normally be expected on this type of road with this volume of traffic."

Boris Johnson said the following in response:
1: They are faced with a "legal position" and he will not over rule TFL in case there is a fatality - as they would be liable for corporate manslaughter.
2: Contraflow removal has increased the traffic through the tunnel which was 14000 vehicles over 3hrs and is now 16600. (Editor: Is this meant to show that removal of contraflow is a good thing?)
3: If you reduce the speed limit down to 20mph as suggested would it achieve an increase in flow in tunnel (Nick argues that it is overnight only - so it would not affect daytime traffic)
3: The key statistic is the flow has increased. (Editor: I am not sure this is the key)

Mr Johnson made a deal with Nick Ferrari that if he reviewed the document (Tidal Flow Report) that he would broadcast a show from the Blackwall Tunnel. - "Its a deal" he said.

We would like to make the following points:
1: It seems that the Northbound tunnel is operated below safety standards (hence the refurbishment and problems outlined during the recent fire) - so if there is a fatality would TFL and the Mayor be responsible for corporate manslaughter?
2: If the Rotherhithe tunnel is operating at 20mph with no HGV access and this is safe - then why can't we do exactly the same with the Blackwall Tunnel. If not - how is this logical?
3: Why is that Mr Johnson is unaware that the tunnel operates at 20mph already? So all that is left to make this possible would be to stop HGV access overnight. SIMPLE!



  1. Well done Doug for trying to make your point with him...........before being rudely faded out!!!

    However, I dont think he still realises what the feeling is of the motorists that use the tunnel every day.

  2. Boris logically if you can be done for corporate manslaughter for tunnel safety - is driving above 20mph on any road completely safe?

    If it is NOT safe I suggest you reduce all speed limits to 20mph or face CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER for every road accident NOW!

  3. Boris has got this one badly wrong.

    This is nanny state at its very worst.

    Bad things happen occasionally. Always have done, always will.

    He's still got far too many of Livingstone's 'anti car' activists dotted around TfL & City Hall advising him for my liking and they're not doing him or the rest of us any favours whatsoever.

  4. Why is it as I drive all around Europe all the roads tunnels and bridges are pristine and all have signs saying payed for by the european union. Aren't we members of that...I also saw that magnificent bridge at Milau go up in less time than they want to renovate a tunnel. What has this country come to...Just trying to get to work to earn the tax they will take from me to pay for the renovation, oh and all the quangos and everybody else who drain the fewer and fewer taxpayers there are left in this green and pleasant land...

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