The maximum vehicle height has been set at 2m, with a weight limit of 2 tonnes. Heavy goods vehicles are advised to use Tower Bridge, as these vehicles will not be allowed to use Rotherhithe Tunnel.

The tunnel was built in 1908 and was never designed to cope with modern levels of traffic. Until recently it was thought that the ventilation system had a number of years before major repair work would be needed, but analysis has shown that repair work needs to be carried out urgently.

Gareth Powell, TfL's managing director of surface transport, said: 'Safety is our top priority and this closure and changes to the vehicles allowed in the tunnel is absolutely necessary to ensure the tunnel's future.'

Drivers restricted from using the tunnel should use Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel - both of which are outside the Congestion Charging zone.

The width restriction in the Rotherhithe Tunnel is 2m (or 6'6").