Mayor Commissions Plans for Underground Ring Road

Inner Orbital Route would run through White City and Earls Court

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson has commissioned Transport for London to draw up early plans for a 22 mile underground ring road to alleviate traffic congestion and improve air quality in the capital.

The underground road, called the Inner Orbital Route, would run from Earls Court to White City near Latimer Road along its western edge.

The project would cost £30 billion and create two new crossings beneath the Thames, as well as linking to key overland roads including the A40 in the west, the A12 in the east, the A1 in the north and the A2 in the south. Tower Bridge would be closed to all traffic except buses and bicycles.

The proposed route links Camden, Highbury, Whitechapel, Wapping, Elephant and Castle, Oval, Battersea Park, Chelsea, Earls Court, White City and St John’s Wood, before returning to Camden.

In the east, a spur under Dalston and Hackney would connect the circuit to the A12.

Transport for London forecasts a 60% increase in congestion in the central zone by 2031 if nothing is done, while outer areas would suffer increases in congestion of 15% to 25%.

Isabel Dedring, deputy mayor for transport, told the Evening Standard: " We are at the very early stage in exploring the potential. Cities such as Paris, Oslo and Boston have undertaken these kinds of ambitious projects and have seen dramatic results.

" This 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."


May 15, 2014