London Mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith says the possibility of a Hammersmith flyunder has moved a step closer following an announcement by Chancellor George Osborne during his Budget statement.
The Conservative, who is looking to land the City Hall hot seat in May’s elections, says he has been lobbying the government for new powers to help fund infrastructure in London - including the ability for Transport for London (TfL) to keep a greater share of the increase in property taxes that result from transport investment.
As part of the Budget, Mr Osborne said confirmed that TfL should bring forward proposals in this area, explicitly mentioning the Hammersmith flyunder project.
Mr Osborne said in Parliament: “The government invites TfL to bring forward proposals for financing infrastructure projects from land value increases, which could support schemes like the proposal for ‘flyunder’ tunnels to replace busy main roads and support redevelopment in Barking, Hammersmith or other town centres. The government is also supporting TfL to generate revenue from its property assets including by consulting on reforms to compulsory purchase orders.”
Previously, it had been mooted by Boris Johnson that drivers would pay a £2 toll to use a flyunder .
Mr Goldsmith said: “I am delighted that after two months of negotiating with the Chancellor, he has today (March 16) set the ball rolling on giving London new powers to fund projects like the Hammersmith flyunder .
“But this is just the start. It’s clear that London needs a Mayor who will be able to work with the government to deliver on these vital schemes.
“Unlike (Labour candidate) Sadiq Khan, I will not experiment with London’s transport budget and I will continue to work with the Chancellor to deliver this important project for West London.”
The preliminary feasibility study in 2014/2015 explored three tunnel options, which vary from one mile to five miles in length, and are expected to cost between £218million and £1.7billion.
Land freed up for redevelopment by the demolition of the flyover could generate around £1bn which could be used to help fund the project.