Labour rejects reintroduction of tidal flow

At last night’s full Council meeting the ruling Labour Group strongly rejected opposition calls that they should work to get the tidal flow system at the Blackwall Tunnel reintroduced.


A motion supported by Conservative Councillors made clear that safety had to be the paramount concern, but that Cabinet Members should “intervene vigorously with a view to rectifying the problems identified by the Metropolitan Police and restoring the tidal flow system.” 

Labour rejected this point and argued instead that ending the contra-flow system at peak hours was the right course of action.  Their reasons for suggesting this included a European Directive on safety standards in tunnels, car usage needs to be reduced and the removal of the tidal flow will encourage people to use public transport. This point was rejected by Cllr Peter King, who pointed out that a large number of businesses use the tunnel and they were unlikely to be able to use trains, buses or the river boat service that Labour suggested were alternatives. 

It was stated that the tidal flow has operated satisfactorily for many years but, according to the Police had recently become less safe because of dangerous manoeuvres by a minority of drivers. 


Conservative Group leader Cllr Spencer Drury said, “I am astonished by Labour’s attitude.  The fact they will not even consider working to try and reintroduce the tidal flow in a safer form is amazing.  The withdrawal of the tidal flow has increased congestion, journey times and pollution in the borough and Labour is not prepared to do anything about it.

“Labour are not standing up for the residents of Greenwich and are allowing our quality of life to deteriorate simply because they do not want to campaign against the Labour Mayor and his anti-car policies.

“The contrast between Labour Greenwich and Conservative Bexley is an unflattering one.  In Greenwich the Labour Council refuse to even consider taking action to benefit residents, but in Conservative Bexley there has been a formal apology to the Council and residents by TfL and the Cabinet Member for Transport has given evidence to the GLA Transport Committee about the effect on residents.  Labour is simply letting Greenwich residents down.”