Explosive start to the week….well almost!


An unexploded World War II bomb was found at a building site in Bermondsey, London yesterday causing chaos on London’s road network.

CVU were contacted to carry out traffic management duties to help ensure safety and ease traffic congestion. With London’s Tower Bridge closed to traffic, and the Metropolitan Police putting in place a 400 metre exclusion zone, closing some of London’s busiest road, this was no easy task. Upon receiving the call from the LSTCC at 10:26 yesterday CVU deployed a TM crew immediately to site to reinforce police closures that were already in place.

The initial closure involved closing off Tower Bridge and Tower Bridge Road from the junction of East Smithfield to Bricklayers Arms Roundabout. The wider closure also involved closing off the southern junctions on Jamaica Road to stop traffic entering the exclusion zone.

“Due to the nature of the incident the CVU network control room acted quickly to deploy further resources to assist the emergency services in diverting traffic and securing the scene. Ben Moorat and Piotr Krawczynski liaised with the police to manage the area and what closures were going to put in place, with support from Claire Galakhina at the Network control room. This was a fantastic effort from all those involved.” Dhiresh Bhatt, Network Control Manager, CVU

This activity caused widespread traffic in London where CVU with TfL carried out everything possible to utilise traffic contingency plans to assist traffic flows. Two local schools were also shut, as well as hundreds of people evacuated from flats close to the scene.

Bermondsey was one of the most heavily bombed areas of Britain during World War II, targeted because of its industry, proximity to London docklands and mail railway supply lines. It is thought that the explosive is around 5ft long and 1,000lb in weight. CVU are continuing to manage local traffic, as the bid continues to make the explosive and surrounding areas safe.

“Events such as these thankfully don’t happen often but highlight the varied and interesting challenges we face in Central London. I’m proud that CVU have been able to respond quickly to help manage public safety and minimise resultant disruption to the travelling public.” Kunle Kolaru, Managing Director, CVU.

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