Hammersmith & Fulham Council have fulfilled their promise to launch a feasiblilty study into the idea of a tunnel to replace the Hammersmith Flyover.
The Flyunder would produce a significantly enhanced environment in Hammersmith, believe the council, as well as the opportunity to develop the land freed from the shadow of the A4.
The study will look at how the tunnel could be funded, and how it could be built. It will run until March 2014.
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, has said that this needs to be the last time TfL spends a large amount of money on the ageing structure – it paid out £60m to repair it in 2012. He said: “A tunnel replacement would dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands of west Londoners and, while the council recognises that in the short term TfL needs to prolong its life just a little bit longer, in the medium term a flyunder would be a game changer for Hammersmith.
“A flyunder would reconnect our divided town centre with the river, improving Hammersmith as a place to live and do business, while improving traffic flows and air quality. This is why we have started a feasibility study to dig a little deeper into the various options and work out how the significant benefits that a tunnel would bring could be paid for.”
An independent technical study to test ground conditions will be commissioned by the council later in the year.
Arun Sondhi from Hammersmith Bid, the organisation which represents businesses in Hammersmith town centre, said: “Hammersmith is currently experiencing a wave of investment as developers recognise that the town is emerging as a serious competitor in the leisure and retail sector. People keep forgetting that Hammersmith has a river because the flyover splits the town in two; it is a relic from a bygone age. Building a tunnel presents an opportunity to enhance the town’s potential and revolutionise the area by opening up land for public and commercial use.”
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