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Rotherhithe Tunnel signage is 'not clear' as motorists claim they are 'mugged off'

The signs were found to be “legally compliant” but an adjudicator observed the two-tonne weight limit was “unusually low”. Signs at the Rotherhithe Tunnel state vehicles more than two tonnes in weight are banned from entering the area due to safety concerns.

Clive Wiltshire says the logo usually features weight restrictions between 7.5 and 18 tonnes meaning road users could be caught out. 

He is calling for a no vans sign to be installed instead of the current logos to ensure motorists are not “mugged off” with fines. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “TfL were aware that initially with a makeshift ‘NO VANS’ sign the workmen posted on each end of the tunnel, [they] were turning away around 600 vans a day. 

“At some point, the decision was made to mug these motorists off. It has worked. 

The letter said: “This is a regulated Department for Transport sign and the only variation permitted is for the text to show the weight restriction in place, in this case ‘2t’. 

“No other variation is allowed, otherwise we would not be fulfilling our legal obligation and would not be able to enforce the Penalty Charge Notices.” 

Mr Wiltshire said he had contacted several local authorities who all refused to hear his case as it was not within their remit. 

He claimed TfL were guilty of “highway robbery” and no changes would be introduced as it would lose money. 

He told Express.co.uk: “Call it what you like, TFL are well aware that what they are doing is highway robbery. 

“But as no one will take them to task (they have no reason to change anything) as it would loose them millions of pounds.” (sic)

Data provided by Transport for London has revealed 160,847 penalty charge notices were issued to users of the Rotherhithe Tunnel between February and December 2019. 

However, charges did slowly decrease with only 8,428 issued in December compared to more than 23,000 in March.

Previous data has revealed TfL generated income of £5,226,763 from motorists in just seven months between February and August. 

Motorists who do not comply with the regulations will be hit with a massive £130 fine which can be reduced to £65 if this is paid within 14 days. 

Speaking to Expresd.co.uk, a TfL spokesperson said: “The restrictions at the Rotherhithe tunnel are absolutely vital to ensuring the safety of people travelling through it and we want everybody to be fully aware of these.

“The signs at the tunnel entrances clearly list the full set of restrictions in place and comply with Department for Transport rules governing road signs. We expect drivers to follow signage and be aware of the rules of the road at all times.”

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