Tower Bridge will remain a flooding risk until Transport for London (TfL) reaches a long-term funding agreement with the government, Sadiq Khan has said.
We reported in September this year how the bridge appeared to flood in a period of heavy rain, with cars driving through several inches of water.
London mayor Khan told the capital’s assembly members in 2018 that the bridge was now more likely to flood because the anti-terrorism barriers put up in the wake of recent terrorist attacks on London Bridge and Westminster Bridge were blocking the gullies that allow rainwater to drain away.
He said at the time: “Following the terrorist attacks on Westminster and London Bridge in 2017, it was necessary for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to install permanent barriers along various bridges in central London, including Tower Bridge.
“Unfortunately, a number of the barriers on Tower Bridge have blocked the gullies and led to a build-up of standing water. The MPS has been working with Transport for London to address this issue and, on 20 November 2018, barriers were removed to clear the drainage system of any blockages and clean the surrounding area. Barriers were then put back in place, but with alterations to ensure more water can flow into the gullies in the future.”
Despite the measures Khan described in 2018, flooding still appears to be an issue on the bridge – as the September incident showed.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell asked the mayor at a recent meeting what was being done to fix the problem.
Khan told the Green Party member that TfL had worked with police to come up with a concept design. The transport agency will fund all of the design work and half of the build, depending on what comes out of the funding agreement on Saturday (December 11).