A study has found that replacing the Hammersmith Flyover with a tunnel would be supported by most residents - and could take just three years to build.

Following months of consultation and analysis, the findings of Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s study into the feasibility of a ‘flyunder’ to replace the flyover were discussed at the council’s transport select committee on Wednesday.

It revealed 89 per cent of respondents either strongly agree or agree with a flyunder.

Council leader Nick Botterill said: “This detailed report spells out three possible replacements: from a shorter tunnel that would act as a catalyst to transform our divided town centre, to something longer stretching into neighbouring boroughs.

“We now know there are at least three ways to tear down Hammersmith’s Berlin Wall. Each of the options has pros and cons but we are now clear that they are possible and, in some cases, may even be self-financing, which is an important factor for taxpayers. This is only the beginning. There is still much work to be done and it is now up to TfL to use our report as a foundation and take the project through to the next stages of development.”

Channel Tunnel engineers Halcrow worked with the council’s transport experts to explore ways of burying the old flyover, which has been closed numerous times over the past few years for safety reasons. They have come up with three alternatives, ranging from a tunnel one to two-and-a-half miles long at a cost of between £218million and £1.7billion.

A4 Hammersmith Flyover Chronicle reporter Greg Burns
A4 Hammersmith Flyover Chronicle reporter Greg Burns
 

The first option involves digging a ‘cut-and-cover’ tunnel just 15 metres below the surface opposite Furnival Gardens in the west, and opposite Hammersmith and West London College in the east. It could be used by all 90,000 vehicles which currently use the road every day and would free up land above, removing the divisive flyover.

The second and third options for longer tunnels would involve boring machines, like the Crossrail ones, to burrow 25 metres underground.

Both would start at Sutton Court Road with one option emerging at North End Road and the other at Earl’s Court Road.They also estimated that redeveloping the land freed up by a tunnel would bring in up to £1billion – some of which could help pay for the flyunder.

The council’s transport select committee met to discuss the draft findings as the Chronicle went to press. The final feasibility report will be published next month and given to the mayor of London to encourage TfL, which manages the road, to take the project to the development and planning stages.