London Bridge will be closed to traffic between March and October 2020, to allow essential maintenance works to take place.
Buses, licensed taxis and cyclists are the only exceptions to the closure — though given the number of buses on the bridge at any one time, we'd estimate that they make up a large proportion of the bridge's traffic anyway.
However, private cars, vans, lorries, motorbikes and other vehicles will all be prohibited from using the bridge while City of London carries out the work. Tour buses will be allowed to use the bridge, but passenger excursion coaches — which often use the bridge as a vantage point to get photos of Tower Bridge — will not.
Pedestrians too will still be able to use the bridge in both directions, though be aware that the already congested pavements will be narrower than usual, as one will be shut until August. TfL suggests that cyclists use an alternative route, such as Southwark Bridge, if possible, especially during peak times as congestion is expected.
Alternative routes while London Bridge is closed
Traffic not allowed onto the bridge is diverted onto alternative routes, across Blackfriars Bridge to the west, and Tower Bridge to the east. Diversions signs will be in situ, and drivers are advised to avoid peak times if possible. Freight drivers should be aware that vehicles over 18 tonnes are not allowed to use Tower Bridge either.
Bus route changes while London Bridge is closed
TfL hasn't announced any changes to bus routes, as buses will still be able to travel across the bridge. However, bus stops on the bridge, and stops Q, M, P and Y on either side will be closed. You're probably going to want to leave extra time too, as congestion means journeys may take longer.
Why is London Bridge closed?
Waterproofing is the short and not very sexy answer. City of London needs to replace some of the bearings on the bridge. They've been in situ since the bridge was built in 1973, so they're due a little TLC. The carriageways and footpaths will also be waterproofed, a process which involves removing the existing surface, making repairs, and applying a waterproofing system.
When does London Bridge reopen to traffic?
TfL is giving October 2020 as the expected date when London Bridge will reopen to all traffic.
Find more information on the London Bridge closure.