Professional Transport Services

Rotherhithe Tunnel to close for 5 days - TfL Press Release

7 Jan 2021

TfL Press Release - Rotherhithe Tunnel to close for five days for safety-critical repairs


  • The Rotherhithe Tunnel will be fully closed for five days and nights from 10:00 on 11 January to 05:00 on 16 January to repair the fire safety system  

Alternative routes will be in place via the Blackwall Tunnel and Tower Bridge 


Transport for London (TfL) will be carrying out critical repairs to the Rotherhithe Tunnel’s fire safety system, which require a five-day closure between 10:00 on Monday 11 January and 05:00 on Saturday 16 January 2021. The tunnel will also close to people walking and cycling during this time.    

 TfL regularly inspects and maintains its tunnels to ensure that they are safe to use. Repairs to the tunnel’s fire water main are needed now to ensure that the tunnel’s hydrants work properly in the event of a fire. A full closure of the tunnel is required to safely complete these repairs.  

Alternative routes will be in place via the Blackwall Tunnel and Tower Bridge during the closure. The current size and weight restrictions, which prohibit vehicles more than two metres high, two metres wide or goods vehicles weighing more than two tonnes from entering the tunnel, remain in place and will continue to remain in place after the closure.  

Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Network Management, said: “Safety is our top priority, and this urgent five-day closure of the Rotherhithe Tunnel is essential to ensure the tunnel remains safe for people to use.  I’d like to ask people in the area who need to travel to plan ahead for their journeys and continue to follow the vital safety restrictions which remain in place at the tunnel.”   

The City of London Corporation will also be carrying out essential works on Southwark Bridge, which will result in a full southbound closure of the crossing between 11 January and 22 February. Traffic will be diverted via Upper Thames Street, Puddle Dock, Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars Bridge, Blackfriars Road and Southwark Street.  

Since February 2019, enforcement of the weight restriction in the Rotherhithe Tunnel has been carried out by cameras and people driving prohibited vehicles through the tunnel can receive a fine of up to £130 for each journey they make through the tunnel.