89% of respondents to a council poll back some form of tunnel replacement.
The poll was small, with 249 people, or 77% of respondents, saying they ‘strongly agreed’ with tunnelling beneath the A4 Talgarth Road, including the concrete flyover. 12% agreed with burying parts of the A4. Only 9% disagreed.
The favourite tunnel length was from Hogarth Roundabout to Warwick Road and there was some backing for north-south links on major routes such as Fulham Palace Road and Shepherds Bush Road.
Respondents were split over the use of the new land created. Around a fifth said they wanted it used for improving connections to the River Thames. 21% would like the land used for new housing, while 7% favoured new offices.
34% wanted the tunnel to be paid for by over site development with a similar number wanting nationwide or London-wide taxes to pay for it. 18% said the A4 should be tolled to pay for the tunnel.
The news comes as the council reports that its feasibility study, to explore the various tunnel options, is progressing well. The probe is exploring various tunnel lengths and possible starting and end points, and will measure options against social, economic and environmental benefits. It will include feedback from local residents and is set to be completed by March 2014 – when the study will be given to Transport for London (TfL) which owns and manages the A4.
The study aims to answer two main questions which are: could a tunnel be built and should a tunnel be built? The preliminary findings will be presented at a public meeting in January.
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said: “We have a range of options – from simply replacing the flyover to something far more ambitious, like a tunnel that potentially stretches from Chiswick to Earl’s Court, involving various north/south connector tunnels. This is very much the start of the process and all options are being explored.”
CH2M Hill Halcrow is exploring the ground conditions in the area to help answer the question of ‘could a tunnel be built’.