The Woolwich Foot Tunnel was built at the instigation of Will Crooks (1852-1921), who spent part of his early life in the workhouse, working in the docks, and later entered politics, becoming the first ever Labour Mayor in London. Crooks was concerned that when the free ferries could not run due to foggy weather, workers who needed to cross the Thames would often lose half a day’s work, or a whole day’s and were sometimes dismissed by their employers as a result. With the new Tunnel they could always get to the other side. The Tunnel leads from North Woolwich in the borough of Newham to Woolwich in the borough of Greenwich. The tunnel was designed by Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice and built by Walter Scott & Middleton for the London County Council and opened on 26 October 1912. It is 504 meters long and accessed by stairs and lifts from circular buildings either side of the river, with glass domes.A modern day feature is the installation of a leaky feeder system so that mobile phones work when pedestrians are under the river. The lift service operates from 7.30am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays, and from 9am to 4.30pm on Sundays.
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