Proposals for an underground £30bn ring-road could revolutionise the way we drive around London.
The ‘conceptual’ plans by Transport for London (TfL) reveal Battersea would be one of the ten exits from a 22-mile-long ring road around the city.
The road would link with the A3205 in Battersea Park
Other cities such as Paris, Oslo and Boston have undertaken similar ambitious projects.
The proposed route starts in Camden where it runs to Highbury in the East and then on to Shoreditch.
A spur between Highbury and Shoreditch heads towards Hackney where it would connect the circuit to the A12.
Meanwhile the ring road continues towards Wapping after which it dives under the Thames, towards Elephant and Castle, and then on to Battersea.
The road would then sweep back round, back under the Thames, towards Earl’s Court then it would link with the A40 in Westway and on to St John’s Wood.
If the ring road came to fruition then it is expected Tower Bridge would only be used by buses and cyclists.
The plans come in anticipation of an extra 1.6m more people forecast to live in London by 2031.
With the added strain on transport infrastructure this increase is expected to bring, TfL is carrying out a number of strategic studies to understand the opportunities for tunnelling under or roofing over existing infrastructure in London.
It is thought an inner orbital tunnel could help relieve longer term congestion and support growth.
The London assembly member for Wandsworth and Merton, Richard Tracey, said: "It is a very farsighted idea for all of London which we have discussed in GLA Conservatives at various times since 2008.
Richard Tracey: 'Why not go underground with major roads?'
"The congestion has become more difficult everywhere and now we have all the necessary tunnelling expertise from building Crossrail and so on, why not think of going underground with major roads too?
"Obviously the great cost would have to be met, but relief from the South Circular mayhem for Wandsworth and south London could make it worthwhile"
Battersea could become a major exit on a proposed ring-road
Isabel Dedring, deputy mayor for transport, said: “The Mayor’s independent Roads Task Force has created a strategic direction for London’s roads, designed to tackle congestion and improve quality of life in London.
“One of the key recommendations of the Task Force was for London to look at road tunnelling projects that could transform parts of the city - TfL is now carrying out a detailed piece of work on this.
“We are at the very early stage in exploring the potential for new orbital and tunnelled routes, but the Mayor believes that they could help to play a key role in supporting London’s growth.
“This project is not about creating a motorway through the centre of London. It’s about freeing up capacity on the city surface, improving air quality and reclaiming space for public parks, pedestrians and cyclists.”
More to follow.
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