|Location Map ( geo)|
|Rotherhithe Tunnel Southern Entrance|
|Middlesex • Surrey|
|Transport for London|
The Rotherhithe Tunnel was constructed between 1904 and 1908, and was the second road tunnel under the Thames after the Blackwall Tunnel.
The tunnel has four access shafts on the surface, two on each side of the river. At the southern two, the road turns sharply at the access shafts with a straight route between them, but on the northern side the tunnel turns more gradually (though it is still a signed tight bend) between the two shafts.
The tunnel is monitored from a control room situated above the north portal of the Blackwall Tunnels.
|Date From||Date Till||Speed Limit||Overtaking Prohibition||Width Limit||Height Limit||Length Limit||Weight Limit||Clearway||Other Restrictions|
|2003||May 2012||20 MPH||Yes||7'6" or 2.3m||14'9" or 4.4m||33'0"||None||Yes||Explosives Prohibited|
|May 2012||September 2018||20 MPH||Yes||6'6" or 2.0m||14'9 or 4.4m||33'0" or 10m||17t mgw||Yes||Dangerous Goods Category 'E' Prohibited|
|September 2018||Current (05/19)||20 MPH||Yes||6'6" or 2.0m||6'6" or 2.0m||none||2t||Yes||Dangerous Goods Category 'E' Prohibited|
The 20mph speed limit is enforced by average speed cameras. The restrictions of vehicles using the tunnel has been getting more restrictive recently, the reduction in September 2018 is due to the ventilation system not being good enough to handle HGVs or larger vehicles, the introduction of the 2t weight limit prohibits all but cars and car derived vans, hence the lack of length limits. However in the tunnel it still has signs saying that long vehicles give way at the bends.
Cyclists and pedestrians wishing to use the tunnel are allowed, and pavements are provided on both sides of the road. Cyclists tend to travel on the pavements, however there are no signs suggesting it is officially shared use.
Despite there being restrictions for weight, width and length. Drivers may only receive a fine when their vehicle exceeds the weight limit, and is classified by the DVLA as a good vehicle (code N). All Cars, including those over 2.0m width and over 2 Tonnes are likely to use the tunnel without receiving PCNs, however larger vehicles such as 4X4s may have a "N" Vehicle Code, therefore receiving a fine.
Horses were prohibited from using the tunnel in 1952, despite no signs showing the prohibition today (I guess people tend to not use horse drawn carriages in the 21st century)
While the tunnel itself is not listed, the following features are (from north to south):
- ARCHWAY TO ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL APPROACH (NORTH) Grade II
- SHADWELL PORTAL TO THE ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL Grade II
- AIR SHAFT TO THE ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL (NORTH BANK) Grade II
- AIR SHAFT TO THE ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL (SOUTH BANK) Grade II
- SURREY PORTAL OF THE ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL Grade II
- ARCHWAY TO ROTHERHITHE TUNNEL APPROACH (SOUTH) Grade II