The Hammersmith flyunder feasibility study sets out how Hammersmith town centre might look if a road tunnel – dubbed the flyunder – were built beneath the current A4. It also explains and discusses the potential benefits change could bring to the area, including freeing up what the council estmates as £1billion worth of land, currently taken up by road, which could unlock a net profit in excess of £500m to go towards financing the flyunder.
The report includes feasibility, master-planning and geotechnical reports along with a strategic economic impact assessment.
Recently the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called the flyunder a ‘brilliant’ scheme after he met the Hammersmith & Fulham Council team behind the project.
The three tunnels in the council’s study vary in length from one mile to 2.5 miles, and it is likely they would cost £218million – £1.7billion to build. The shortest option would involve digging a ‘cut and cover’ tunnel 15 metres beneath the surface between just opposite Furnivall Gardens in the west and Hammersmith & West London College in the east.
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said: “This elevated concrete monster has divided Hammersmith town centre for decades – magnifying traffic noise and polluting our air in the process. This project would reconnect our divided town centre with the river and make our once beautiful town centre an even more attractive place to visit or do business.
“This report is not an end point. It is a beginning. This is the council’s response to The Mayor of London’s Roads Taskforce and it is now mainly for TfL, who own and manage the A4, to decide how to take the project forward from here.”
The council is also looking at ways to use the Mayor of London’s Better Junctions scheme to improve Hammersmith Gyratory and the road network in the area for cyclists into the next stage of the plans.
The £290 million project aims to make 33 roundabouts and gyratory systems across London less threatening to cyclists and pedestrians. Funding will be used to install schemes like direct segregated cycle tracks, two-way roads and traffic-free public spaces.
The programme is set to be designed over the next two years, with help from residents and local groups who will be consulted, while the scheme is expected to be approved and built in 2016/17.