Boris Johnson Reveals Tunnel Vision
Mayor wants to build two cross city road tunnels one of which starts from Chiswick
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has revealed plans for two new cross-city tunnels, one of which would emerge in Chiswick.
The scheme which appears to be way more ambitious than previous ‘flyunder’ plans for the A4 is part of a larger set of longer term proposals which have the aim of reducing congestion in London by 20%. They are the result of a study which the Mayor asked Transport for London to undertake into solutions to the problem of growth of traffic in the capital.
There would be two new east-west cross-city tunnels one running from the A4 at Chiswick to the A13 at Beckton and the other from the A40 at Park Royal to the A12 at Hackney Wick. The Park Royal tunnel which would be known as the Northern Cross City Corridor would be built first. Further feasibility work is currently underway to focus on alignment and portal locations, as well as looking at alternative options including an orbital tunnel. Such a tunnel could be built and opened by the mid to late 2030s according to the Mayor and funded through road user charges.
They would come into operation when London’s population is predicted to be over 10 million. There would also be a network of smaller tunnels and flyunders which would be funded by the land released at ground level. These include tunnels at Hammersmith, Chalkers Corner and Savoy Circus.
Figures show that every five years an extra one million trips a day are being added to the capital’s transport network. It is estimated that central London congestion could increase by 60% over the next 15 years if no measures are taken to tackle the problem.
Transport for London has now been tasked with carrying out further detailed feasibility studies into these new tunnels and attract investment to the areas above them. The planned routes for the new tunnels were identified drawing on experience from other cities such as Stockholm and Boston.
View from Furnivall Gardens - artist's impression of earlier flyunder plan
The Mayor has also called on the Government to consider devolving the revenue from Vehicle Excise Duty to London. This would allow the Mayor to ensure that money collected from London’s road users is directly invested into the capital’s roads rather than diverted into general national tax revenue. He says this would address the fact that none of the £500m per annum raised from VED on London-registered vehicles is currently spent on the capital’s roads.
Boris Johnson MP, “Around eight of every ten journeys in London are made using our roads – whether by car, taxi, motorbike, bus, cycle, foot, or freight – which is why it is vital that we think big. We must deliver long-term solutions that will not just make the most of the space we have for road users, but bring environmental and amenity improvements to local areas. I am proud of the many congestion-busting measures we have introduced in my term in office, such as lane rental for roadworks, automating traffic lights, cutting delays from disruption through more effective and efficient use of police resource, and investing in decongesting key junctions and corridors. Our major programme of capital investment in the city’s roads is transforming neighbourhoods across the city, making our roads safer, and cleaning up our air. But we need to go further. By pushing forward strategic initiatives we are outlining today, we will lay the foundation for the next wave of improvements to everyone’s experience of the road network across the city.”
Source: Transport for London
Transport for London has also been asked to bring forward a series of “flyunders”. Feasibility studies and business cases are underway this year for nine mini-tunnel or flyunder locations which have the greatest potential to unlock housing and provide significant regeneration benefits.
February 4, 2016