Hammersmith 'Flyunder' Progress Urged
Council asks the Mayor for definitive action on project
Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, has written to the Mayor of London asking for definitive action on the flyunder project.
The Mayor has responsibility for the Hammersmith Flyover and the possible replacement flyunder scheme. The new administration in H&F views the flyunder as an important catalyst in regenerating businesses and communities in the heart of Hammersmith.
Residents in H&F, and across west London, have backed the ambitious plans which would see the A4 flyover demolished and replaced with a tunnel.
The Mayor, speaking on his AskBoris radio show on LBC in March last year, indicated that he was ready to give the go ahead for the scheme, and explained: “We’ve been listening to this for months and months and months and actually it is brilliant. It adds up. It’s the most fantastic scheme.
“We’re going to tunnelise the flyover, the timescale will be three or four years, I expect. Even the hardened TfL engineers looked through this, they’ve been pretty sceptical, and they thought it was a great scheme.”
However, since then TfL (which reports to the Mayor) has stated that it wants to study the feasibility of the flyunder as part of its long-term London Infrastructure Plan 2050. That has stifled progress to move forward with the scheme and the time scales previously given by the Mayor.
Cllr Cowan has asked TfL to use the project as a case study in its own right in an effort to speed up process and has pledged that the council will work in partnership to deliver it.
"This scheme gives the Mayor an opportunity to improve the environment, strengthen the economy and regenerate an important part of London,” Cllr Cowan said.
“We’re asking him to take that chance and not to get bogged down in bureaucracy – it would be a legacy project for him."
The preliminary feasibility study explored three tunnel options, which vary from one mile to five miles in length, and are expected to cost between £218million and £1.7billion. Land freed up for redevelopment by the demolition of the Flyover could generate around £1billion which could be used to help fund the project.
H&F Council will also seek to remove the troublesome Hammersmith Gyratory as part of the improvements.
A report outlining plans to create a new "flyunder" was published last year by the Council when it was under the control of the Conservatives.
The report – published online at www.lbhf.gov.uk/flyunder– includes feasibility, master-planning and geotechnical reports along with a strategic (economic) impact assessment. There are also several artists’ impressions of how the area might look if the flyunder were to go ahead.
Before and after images of the area around Hammersmith Apollo, The Ark, the Novotel Hotel, King Street and St Paul’s Church all show the six-lane-wide A4 removed and instead replaced with new homes, offices and green space.
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.
The council is also looking at ways to weave 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. Residents and businesses in the borough would also be heavily involved in any consultation on the Better Junctions project.
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.
January 23, 2015