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Mayor reveals plans for underground roads

Words: Laura Edgar

Boris Johnson, mayor of London, has revealed details of his plans to reduce congestion in the city, including installing tunnels.

Johnson made the announcement while visiting Boston in the United States, a city that introduced an eight-lane underground route to reduce traffic congestion and replace a “deteriorating” six-lane road.

Johnson’s proposed sites for underground roads:

• A mini tunnel in Barking Riverside, A13 – Johnson said this has the potential to open up future development and connect the Borough of Barking with the Barking Riverside development.

• Decking over the A3 in Tolworth – Connect area adjacent to Crossrail 2 station with the rest of the borough and provide land for homes.

• A fly-under at the A316 at Chalkers Corner – improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and remove a traffic pinch point along the A316.

• A fly-under the A4 in Hammersmith – replace existing viaduct with a new tunnel.

• Either decking or a mini-tunnel at the A406 in New Southgate – building over this section of the North Circular would unlock land for homes and connect area to proposed Crossrail 2 station.

He said the proposals aim to unlock growth and make London “a more attractive place to live and work”.

Transport for London (TfL) and Johnson have considered more than 70 locations that could deliver benefits that are in line with the Mayor’s Infrastructure Plan and the recommendations of the Road Task Force.

Johnson explained: “Rebuilding some of our complex and ageing road network underneath our city would not only provide additional capacity for traffic, but it would also unlock surface space and reduce the impact of noise and pollution. I am inspired by what the ambitious people of Boston have achieved, both in terms of reducing congestion and how they have dramatically improved the quality of life on the surface. In London we face similar challenges on our roads, but this could also be a fantastic opportunity to better shape our city and support economic growth.”

TfL now plans to work with boroughs local to the proposed sites and work out costs, funding options and site delivery programme. This will be presented to Johnson in May.