Hammersmith Flyunder Going Nowhere

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made it clear that the proposed scheme favoured by Boris Johnson to replace part of the Hammersmith (A4) flyover with a tunnel is going nowhere. This would have improved the local environment and enabled buildings to be constructed on the land thereby made available, helping to pay for the scheme. It would also have been linked to remodelling the Hammersmith gyratory and got the strong support of the local council. But the Mayor has made it clear that he will not support it financially.

This is what he said in response to a question on the subject:

“TfL completed a feasibility study for the Hammersmith flyunder in 2015. The scheme looks to address issues of congestion, mitigate against noise and air pollution from traffic, provide space for new housing and make the area more appealing for walking and cycling. The study indicated that it would be technically feasible to build a tunnel to replace the flyover and provide opportunities to regenerate Hammersmith town centre.

The likely construction and operational costs of the scheme were found to be significant and could not be covered through local sources and from proceeds from associated development in the town centre. As this is primarily a regeneration scheme, it is being considered further by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham who are developing a Supplementary Planning Document for the town centre.

While I am supportive in principle of schemes such as the proposed Hammersmith flyunder, any such schemes need to be fully funded by development in the local area. TfL will work closely with the Council, but the scheme has to demonstrate that it can deliver the benefits and meet the key challenges before I can fully support it.” 

In effect he is saying that the Mayor and Transport for London are not going to help fund any projects to improve the road network. That’s despite the fact that they have spent enormous amounts of money on new cycle superhighways, cycle lanes, quietways and pedestrian schemes.

Comment: Bearing in mind that the A4 elevated section is now very aged and was closed recently for emergency repairs that cost £100 million, this seems to be a very-short sighted decision. The flyover is also an ugly blot on the landscape. The proposed scheme (along with other similar flyunders in London) was an innovative approach to improving the road network which we desperately require.

Roger Lawson

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