Buses could be banned from Tower Bridge

The City of London Corporation has warned that buses may have to be banned from using Tower Bridge in response to concerns that traffic restrictions on London Bridge.

The website London-SE1.co.uk reports that the changes to traffic have led more heavy vehicles to cross the Victorian bridge which is next east along the river Thames.

It says that the streets and walkways sub-committee of the City of London Corporation will discuss its response to Transport for London’s plan to continue the experimental restriction on private cars, vans and lorries using London Bridge on weekdays between 7am and 7pm which was introduced two years ago and which TfL says has improved bus journey times and made London Bridge a more attractive option for cyclists and pedestrians.

The report explains Tower Bridge has an 18-tonne weight limit, with exemptions for buses, but TfL monitoring shows that between 100 and 150 vehicles a month flout the current limit.

The website quotes a report prepared for this week’s Guildhall meeting saying: “There is concern that the London Bridge and Bishopsgate experimental traffic order schemes have led to more overweight vehicles diverting to Tower Bridge.”

It says the City Corporation acknowledges that “displacement from London Bridge or Bishopsgate will only form part of the three to five overweight vehicles per day crossing Tower Bridge” but the authority continues to have concerns about the impact of the London Bridge restrictions on Tower Bridge.

The report says that TfL has committed to protect Tower Bridge from unsuitable vehicles but notes that the Corporation has “seen no evidence or had any discussions on these measures”.

It further quotes the report as saying: “

If these [London Bridge] proposals continue and TfL do not introduce additional measures to afford Tower Bridge some protection from HGVs then the next step will be for the Bridge House Estates Board to require the weight restriction to be changed to a regulatory restriction used for weak bridges.

“This will not allow the exemption for buses and prohibit many of the existing tourist buses crossing the bridge but is also enforceable by the police as a traffic offence.”

(Picture – Yay Images)


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