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Great Britain

Rotherhithe tunnel closed till rush-hour to clear leaves away

North entranced to Rotherhithe Tunnel where overhanging trees were being pruined by Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: Google

North entranced to Rotherhithe Tunnel where overhanging trees were being pruined by Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: Google

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The A101 Rotherhithe tunnel is set to reopen at 4pm today in time for the homebound evening rush-hour.

It was closed by TfL at 9am for maintenance work to be carried out, with traffic having to be diverted to Tower Bridge in the west or Blackwall Tunnel to the east.

The work involved clearing leaves and branches from overhanging trees at the north entrance approach near the junction with the A13 Commercial Road at Limehouse, being carried out by Tower Hamlets Council.

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Some 22 trees have had to be pruned by the council to prevent leaves falling onto the carriageway and mulching down, casing slippery conditions for drivers.

Drivers face further disruption in the New Year as the ventilation system in the ageing single-bore two-way tunnel first opened in 1908 may soon need replacing. Engineers are set to survey the tunnel ready for the upgrading work.

City Hall has had to put in tough restrictions in the meantime, banning vehicles larger than 6ft wide or high, because the tunnel can't cope with any smoke or fumes if there is a traffic accident.

The tunnel was closed down for several hours on December 4 after a crash involving three vehicles.

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