THE demise of Hammersmith Flyover is an ideal opportunity to improve residents' health and restore the town to its former glory.
That is the view of leading borough councillor Lucy Ivimy, who believes the decaying raised road should be replaced with a tunnel.
Ms Ivimy, the ward councillor for Ravenscourt Park, says the flyover 'slashed the town in two' when it was built, eating into the popular Furnivall Gardens and ruining the view of St Paul's Church.
And she believes residents in her ward have suffered with their health as a result of the pollution caused by the 90,000 vehicles that use it every day.
In a speech to a full council meeting last week, Ms Ivimy said: "Walk along it and the poison of that road, the noise, the pollution and the dead dereliction that abuts it, is striking. When canvassing, it is difficult ever to find someone in at a property adjacent to it. When I have done so, I have heard a litany of ill health which I am very confident is caused in no small part by the air pollution and the stress of the constant traffic roar."
Ms Ivimy says a tunnel would ease traffic flow if extended to the far side of Hogarth Roundabout, and free some of the 'dead space' underneath the flyover that is 'partially useful for parking but deadly to the soul'.
In her plan, a road half the width of the current carriageway would be left along the current A4 route, releasing a strip of land for open space, housing, offices and shops.
The cost of tunneling would be far less than when the flyover was built and could be part funded by development profits raised from the release of the land, said Ms Ivimy.
Urging the council to make the plan a reality, she added: "The benefits are clear: Hammersmith no longer cut in two, Furnivall Gardens increased in size, homes currently blighted because of the pollution and noise made pleasant, St Paul’s church no longer overshadowed by traffic roar and its green space made peaceful, open space released by Hammersmith Broadway – how about a permanent open market to rival London Bridge? - less noise and less pollution throughout Hammersmith."