The local press has reported that the City of London Corporation is considering banning tourist buses from using Tower Bridge as a way of protecting the structure from long term damage. The bridge, which already has an 18-tonne weight limit, has seen an increase in traffic since restrictions were placed on neighbouring London Bridge in March.
The Corporation may press for the BHE [Bridge House Estates] Board to require the existing weight restriction to be changed to a regulatory restriction used for weak Bridges. This would not necessarily allow the exemption for buses and therefore prohibit many of the existing tourist buses crossing the bridge. Other potential solutions reported in the local press include dropping the weight limit even further and introducing physical barriers.
Speaking to Bus and Coach Buyer Peter Bradley, Managing Director of the UK Coach Operators Association said ‘The reports in the local press are concerning. Coaches and Buses should be seen as a solution to the challenges of traffic volume, clean air and climate change, not as the cause of the problem. Banning Tourist Buses and potentially coaches too (although coaches have not been specifically referenced) from using Tower Bridge would impact many regular and occasional journeys using public transport. We are willing to talk with the Corporation to ensure that any proposals to restrict buses and coaches from using this iconic structure are properly thought through and that priority is given to transport that reduces traffic volumes.’