Mayor Reaffirms Backing for Flyunder

But suggests motorists might have to pay toll to use it


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London Mayor Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his commitment to replacing the Hammersmith Flyover with a Flyunder - but has suggested motorists might have to pay to use it.

The Mayor made the announcement during a trip to Boston to see a similar project called the Big Dig diverted several major roads underground.

He said: " Rebuilding some of our complex and ageing road network underneath our city would not only provide additional capacity for traffic, but it would also unlock surface space and reduce the impact of noise and pollution. "

As well as Hammersmith, the Mayor thinks flyunders could work in for the A13 in Barking Riverside, the A3 in Tolworth, A316 at Chalkers Corner and the A406 in New Southgate.

However, he said there would need to be a financial model for paying for the excavations, and that tolls were one possibility.

This could mean drivers being forced to pay £2 every time they entered the flyunder.

These five locations have been put forward for further feasibility testing by Transport for London, who will now work with local boroughs to progress these proposals further, including working up more detailed costs and possible funding options and an indicative programme of delivery if funding can be secured.  This further analysis will be presented to the Mayor in May.

The Mayor's announcement comes just two weeks after Hammersmith and Council asked him for action on the Flyunder project.

In its response to the Mayor's anouncement the council said it does not necessarily agree that tolls would be necessary for funding and pointed to feasibility studies they have published that show release of the land for development could generate enough money to cover the costs of the short tunnel proposal, without the need for a toll. 

Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, said: "We just need the Mayor to put his hand in his pocket, instead of wasting £70million of taxpayers’ cash repairing this monstrosity. Sinking the flyover would free up land to be used for affordable housing, parks and cycling facilities.

“Our plans are the most developed of those suggested and will help ensure London remains a major trade centre for the 22nd Century and, if done the right way, it could be a real gem."

February 15, 2015