The reason your taxi driver won't go south of the river for three months (not across Tower Bridge anyway)

 
Hayley Kirton
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Are you one of the 40,000 people who travels across this bridge every day? If so, we've got some bad news... (Source: Getty)

If your travels around London regularly take you across the Thames, you'll have one less travel option come October, as Tower Bridge closes for three months.

Tower Bridge Road will be shut to vehicles from 1 October while repair and maintenance work is carried out, the City of London Corporation announced today.

"This decision to close Tower Bridge to vehicles has not been taken lightly, and this course of action has been taken after extensive consultation and planning in conjunction with numerous stakeholders," said Chris Hayward, chairman of the planning and transport committee at the City of London Corporation. "We will use this time to repair, refurbish, and upgrade London's most iconic bridge, which has gone without significant engineering works for more than 35 years."

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Pedestrians will still be able to use the crossing throughout the three month repair period for all but three weekends, and plans to provide a free ferry service on those days have been proposed. The viewing gallery will also remain open during the period and exhibitions will also go ahead as planned.

"Our advice to those travelling in the area is to check before they travel and to plan an alternative route or allow more time for their journeys as roads will be busier than usual," added Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL.

The bridge, which is 122 years old, has held up well, providing more than 40,000 people with a path across the Thames every day, despite the timber decking having last been refurbished in the 1970s.

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However, such fun facts are unlikely to ease the minds of anybody who needs to travel to landmarks such as Southwark Crown Court, HMS Belfast and the Shard, as the repairs to Tower Bridge overlap with roadworks on Tooley Street.

The street, which runs close to London Bridge station, is currently closed to eastbound traffic until 2018 as the station undergoes a makeover. However, City of London Corporation's announcement today assured concerned commuters that the impact of closing Tower Bridge Road in addition to Tooley Street would be "minimal".

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