Hammersmith Flyover is a 'terrible act of vandalism' that should be replaced
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Development, Housing
The Hammersmith Flyover is a ‘terrible act of vandalism’ that should never be repeated and should be replaced, according to Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council and a group of local architects.
Serious questions have been asked about the long-term viability of the 50-year-old structure given the escalating costs of maintenance and increased risk of failure.
An emergency closure in 2011 caused traffic gridlock across west London.
Now architects group West London Link has presented its ideas of how Transport for London (TfL) could replace the crumbling flyover with a tunnel.
Declaring H&F Council’s support for a tunnel, or ‘flyunder’, during a Hammersmith Town Hall meeting last night, cllr Nicholas Botterill said: “The Hammersmith Flyover is a hangover from another era that should never be repeated. The age of the ugly concrete viaduct in the sky is over and the age of the tunnel is coming.”
West London Link showed how the land above a tunnel could be transformed by building new homes, creating more green space and reconnecting Hammersmith town centre with the river.
Tom Ryland, director of Chartered Practice Architects Ltd and West London Link member, said: “The flyover was a terrible act of vandalism.
"It has been patched up at huge expense and that will only last around 20 years and then it will have to be taken down. You could say we have tunnel vision as you could dig a tunnel without major disruption unlike rebuilding the flyover and diverting all the traffic for two years.
“We wanted to show TfL what could be possible and it has to be done properly and in a timely way, which means looking at it now.”
Visitors to the exhibition heard that, as well as reclaiming land along the A4 - potentially from as far as the Chiswick roundabout to the new Earls Court development at West Kensington - a tunnel would significantly improve the air quality in Hammersmith, which is one of the most polluted areas in London.
The tunnel plan has been backed by the council which has vowed to start detailed work to explain the benefits to TfL and show how it could work in practice.
Cllr Botterill added: "This elevated concrete 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 of this ugly and out-dated structure and there is clearly a desire to think boldly. We have the will locally to make a tunnel happen and we have the latest technology to make it happen.
“The next stage will require us to convince TfL that a tunnel is the best way forward to continue the regeneration of Hammersmith and reconnect local people with the river once again.”