Hats off to the Hammersmith BID – Business Improvement District. They have won the award for BID of the year.
The awards celebrate valuable programmes and projects being delivered by town centres up and down the country to improve our high streets, town and city centres in the face of many challenges.
The BID had been nominated for its work on the Hammersmith Flyunder project, which it has been lobbying for since 2012 and this year culminated in the publication and submission of the HammersmithLondon
economic study to Transport for London as part of a feasibility study and the subsequent backing of the scheme by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
HammersmithLondon were up against four other BIDS for the title, all of which promoted a specific project from each area.
I very much hope that the Labour-run Hammersmith and Fulham Council will continue the serious work the council put in under the Conservatives – together with Boris Johnson and the Hammermsith BID – for a flyunder.
There was very strong support for this among the residents I spoke to. In their manifesto Labour promised to “deliver it.” In fact it is not something that Hammersmith and Fulham Council can deliver on its own. The Flyover and that stetch of the A4 come under the remit of Transport for London and thus the Mayor of London.
But I will certainly be pushing the council to continue its work on the feasibility of the project.
H&F has the wealthiest and healthiest parts of the UK, yet you want to continue with this plan, “to reconnect us with the river” as some people put it.
I’m sorry, but there are more important things to spend the country’s capital on (and I make no distinction between public and private investment there).
The only significant planning-gain money would/might come from in central Hammersmith, but that could only pay for a minimum length of tunnel. It might allow removing the flyover, but would have no effect on traffic levels using the gyratory.
If you want to do something radical, take out one lane of the A4 over its whole length, as with the Euston Road, for buses and maybe trams, and see what other rail improvements in the area could be made.
You can still try to remove the gyratory. Some car traffic just ‘disappears’ if you make road travel harder anyway.
Is there any measure of libertarianism (‘the open road’, and ‘freedom from the state’) in all the H&F efforts to spend more on roads?
There would be a significant increase in capacity with a long tunnel, because surface roads would need to stay, so it is ridiculous for people to claim, as at the public meetings, that no capacity increase would happen (or more accurately, “we are not trying to increase capacity”).
The age of unrestricted expansion of car travel, ‘predict and provide’, is over, in urban London. There is nothing left-wing about restricting it, and replacing it with better public transport.