New Year’s Eve fireworks ‘stay away from Tower Bridge’ warning
Revellers looking for a free glimpse of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are being urged to stay away from Tower Bridge – to avoid a ‘non-existent’ view.
In recent years the iconic landmark has become congested with people trying to use the bridge as a vantage point to see the fireworks.
This year, to help ease overcrowding and avoid disappointment, Londoners are being asked to stay away from the bridge and neighbouring London Bridge, neither of which offer a view of the fireworks.
Stewards will be on patrol on both bridges, along with a significant police presence to reassure the public and ensure people stay safe.
Both bridges, along with three other Thames crossings, are owned and maintained by 900-year-old charity City Bridge Foundation at no cost to the taxpayer.
Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation chairman, said:
“It’s no surprise people think of Tower Bridge when they’re looking for an iconic location to view the fireworks from, but the fact is, the view from there is non-existent.
“The bend in the river and tall buildings in the way mean you can’t see the fireworks from Tower Bridge or London Bridge, so if you go there, you’ll only be disappointed.
“In previous years, we’ve seen thousands of people congregating on the bridges, which presents a danger to pedestrians and motorists.
“To help us keep our bridges clear and make sure everyone is safe, we’re asking people without tickets to stay away this year. You’ll get a much better view watching the fireworks at home on TV.”
The New Year’s Eve fireworks display is a ticketed event run by the Mayor of London’s office, with dedicated viewing areas along Victoria Embankment, Waterloo and Westminster bridges and parts of the South Bank.
Tickets for the event are sold out. Those without a ticket are encouraged to join millions of viewers in watching the display live on BBC One or via BBC iPlayer, or to celebrate the New Year in the capital’s bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Commander Umer Khan OBE, from City of London Police, said:
“The City of London is a vibrant, exciting place to be in London, offering the best bars, pubs and restaurants. This New Year’s Eve, we’re fully prepared to welcome visitors to the City, whilst working with partners to prevent, detect and act on any criminality.
“The fireworks near the London Eye provide a centrepiece to seeing in the new year. Tower Bridge and London Bridge are iconic landmarks, but people expecting to be able to see the display need to know that the fireworks are not visible from these locations.
“Tower Bridge and London Bridge are outside the event footprint and will be open to traffic. In the interest of public safety, we’re urging people not to stop on those bridges on New Year’s Eve to try and see the fireworks display.”
More information is at www.london.gov.uk/events/london-new-years-eve-2023
The Tower Bridge visitor attraction is open over the festive period at its normal opening hours of 9.30am to 6pm, apart from December 24 to 26, when it is closed, and New Year’s Day, when it opens at 10am.
More information is at www.towerbridge.org.uk/your-visit/visitor-information