West-East spanning road tunnels proposed for London

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West-East spanning road tunnels proposed for London

Every year more than 3 billion journeys are made on London roads.

With the population forecast to grow by by almost 2 million in the next 15 years, so will pollution and congestion.

New plans are being thought up to releve the pressure on the roads including sending the cars underground into tunnels that would span the city east to west.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson visited New London Architecture where these ideas are being displayed.

The Mayor has asked Transport for London to:

·     Further develop strategic road tunnels: Latest analysis from TfL suggests that two cross-city tunnels could reduce congestion by up to 20 per cent in central London, provide £1bn per year savings through journey time reliability alone and free up substantial space for new homes, walking, cycling, public transport and greenery. The first tunnel, known as the Northern Cross City Corridor, has been investigated by TfL and would run from the A40 at Park Royal to the A12 at Hackney Wick. Further feasibility work is currently underway to focus on alignment and portal locations, as well as looking at alternative options including an orbital tunnel. Such a tunnel could be built and opened by the mid to late 2030s and funded through road user charges. A second tunnel could potentially run from the A4 in Chiswick to the A13 in Beckton.

·     Bring forward a series of transformational “flyunders”: Feasibility studies and business cases are underway this year for nine mini-tunnel or flyunder locations which have the greatest potential to unlock housing and provide significant regeneration benefits. These could provide new land for walking, cycling, new housing and public space, developing new areas of London and relieving congestion. A proposed 1.3km A13 Riverside Tunnel at Barking will not only improve traffic flow but transform a severely blighted area, creating a new neighbourhood of over 5,000 new homes and acting as a catalyst for the building of another 28,300 homes in London Riverside, while creating over 1,200 new jobs and unlocking significant business and commercial growth in the surrounding area. It is anticipated that a significant portion of the funding would be generated by the tunnel itself and the housing it would enable.

·     Call on the Government to devolve Vehicle Excise Duty: If London retained the city’s share of Vehicle Excise Duty it would ensure a significant funding stream to be able to dramatically improve the capital’s roads. VED from the 2.9m registered vehicles in London equates to £500m in revenue each year. The Mayor has asked TfL to explore whether that revenue could ultimately be integrated with other charges to form a single, easier way of paying road use without asking London motorists to pay any more.

·     Develop new policy options to better manage freight in London: To further reduce congestion, emissions and improve safety, work  is underway to fully understand the potential benefits and challenges of a freight ban or charge at certain times of day for certain vehicle types.

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