The temporary closure of the Hammersmith Flyover late in 2011 left major traffic problems throughout west London and the lingering sensation that Something Must Be Done. One of the proposals discussed, a tunnel, has now been backed by Lord Rogers, who has endorsed the Hammersmith ‘Flyunder’ plan drawn up by local architects. You can see further sketches of the proposal here (PDF).
Backed by the West London Design Link, the tunnel would stretch from Earls Court to Chiswick roundabout, entirely replacing the dilapidated flyover. Should it go ahead, it would be London’s first road tunnel in 20 years. It would also mean the opportunity to get rid of the flyover, regularly described as an ‘eyesore’ and a concrete barrier that severs Hammersmith’s connection with the Thames. It could also be turned into London’s equivalent of New York’s High Line.
Quixotic schemes in Hammersmith seem to come along quite frequently — in the 1970s Norman Foster planned to demolish the Broadway and replace it with a giant transport interchange and helicopter station — but the tunnel scheme seems to have broad backing among politicians, residents and engineers, while the rest of London would see the benefit of an easier trip along the A4. Over to Transport for London, who’ll be deciding what to do about the capital’s ageing flyovers later in the year.