Construction of road tunnels below existing routes around London’s South Circular road is being considered by Transport for London (TfL) as a way to cut congestion and remove traffic from residential areas.
TfL said the new tunnels could be toll financed.
It is also examining the possibility of tolling other new infrastructure in the capital.
“We’re conducting studies into building tolled tunnels under junctions, tunnels under existing roads and covering over roads to free up space on top for cyclists and pedestrians,” said a TfL spokesman.
Tunnelling plans are largely focused on the South Circular, but TfL is also looking at options for the North Circular and A12 through east London. It is also examining the potential for construction of flyunders at Brent Cross and Hammersmith.
TfL was quick to stress that the plans were still in their early stages, with no conclusive locations, cost estimates or funding. Proposals are among a raft of potential measures being investigated.
“We’re looking at the possibility of an orbital tolled tunnel,” said TfL managing director for planning Michele Dix. “We’re looking at the advantages of both orbital and crossroad [designs].”
TfL revealed the plans as part of its Delivering the Vision for London’s Streets and Roads report published in response to a similar report by London mayor Boris Johnson’s roads task force.
The task force comprises representatives from local councils, TfL and a variety of stakeholders including transport action groups. Its report – The Vision and Direction for London’s Streets and Roads – outlines a number of proposed measures for the future of London’s roads infrastructure.