Residents Encouraged to Attend 'Flyunder Summit'
Experts who managed Channel Tunnel project to produce report
Residents are being invited to share their thoughts about a tunnel replacement, or ‘flyunder’, for the 50 year old flyover at a meeting at Hammersmith town hall on October 9 before a report is submitted to Transport for London (TfL) next year.
The news about the Flyunder Summit comes in the same week that a decision to appoint multinational engineering firm CH2M Hill Halcrow was taken. Halcrow are set to explore the ground conditions in the area as part of a ‘geo-technical study’ to feed into the council’s report.
CH2M Hill Halcrow, who have offices in Hammersmith town centre, are one of the UK's largest major infrastructure experts and were responsible for the design and project management of the £5.8billion Channel Tunnel.
Richard Sanderson, Director of Transport Planning at CH2M Hill Halcrow said: “We have been working with the group of local architects, West London Link, for over a year to develop options. Our team of transportation experts will continue to work closely with the local community as we move to the next stage. As a business with its international headquarters based in Hammersmith, we understand the area well and want to help deliver a solution that will benefit local residents, businesses and road users.”
Since its emergency closure in 2011, which caused traffic gridlock across west London, serious questions have been asked about the long-term viability of the ageing flyover – especially given the escalating cost of maintenance and increased risk of failure.
The ugly, concrete flyover was opened in 1961 and is an integral part of the A4 Great West Road, which is managed by TfL, and carries more than 90,000 vehicles a day bypassing Hammersmith Town Centre.
Calls for a flyunder replacement started gathering pace when a group of west London architects, known as West London Link, alongside the Hammersmith BID group of businesses and Halcrow presented their initial ideas earlier in the year.
Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council backs the idea of a tunnel and has started work on a feasibility study, as part of its Get Moving campaign to improve the local transport network, to show how a flyunder might be paid for. The study is looking into how a tunnel would best improve traffic flow; reconnect the town centre with the river and improve air quality as well as investigating ways to pay for the tunnel, possibly by releasing highway land for development.
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said: “The Hammersmith Flyover is a hangover from another era that should never be repeated. This elevated monster has divided our town centre for decades - magnifying traffic noise and polluting our air in the process. Residents need to be at the heart of the debate about the long-term replacement and I would encourage interested residents to come along to our Flyunder Summit and let us know what you think.”
TfL awarded a £60million contract to strengthen the flyover in June and engineering firm Costain is expected to start the repairs next month.
The Flyunder Summit takes place at Hammersmith town hall on Wednesday, October 9. Arrive at 6:30pm for a 7pm start. To find out more visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/flyunder
September 18, 2013