Plans revealed for major London underground ring-road with Battersea exit

The red dotted line shows the proposed road and the black line indicates the existing inner ring road

The red dotted line shows the proposed road and the black line indicates the existing inner ring road

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Wandsworth

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.

Wimbledon Guardian: tower bridge landscape

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.

Wimbledon Guardian:

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"

Wimbledon Guardian:

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.

Would it be good to have a major ring road exit in Battersea? Send us your thoughts at ssleigh@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (2)

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10:32pm Tue 13 May 14

buggsie says...

Better make sure these underground roads don't go through all the new basements that are being created.
Remember living in Belgium - Brussels - loads of roads going underground - good - but then their 'rush hour' was none existent.
Better make sure these underground roads don't go through all the new basements that are being created. Remember living in Belgium - Brussels - loads of roads going underground - good - but then their 'rush hour' was none existent. buggsie
  • Score: 2

3:21pm Wed 14 May 14

QPR4Me says...

Funnily enough, I think this idea could work. I agree that it would be fraught with difficulty and hideously expensive but, and it's a big one, it would take a lot of strain off of the M25.
When the M25 was conceived, it was seen as a ring road for London, with traffic being able to by-pass the city. A second ring road for London traffic travelling around the city etc was meant to have been put forward. However, it was seen as too controversial due to the then requirement to demolish a lot of homes to build the road. In the end, it was seen as a toxic idea by all political parties and was dumped. The effect was to cause the massive jams that we see on the M25, which carries far more traffic than it was designed for, as it currently has to carry traffic by-passing London and that traffic which wants to get from one side of London to another.
Sadly, I cannot see it happening. The cost will be truly enormous and we will get a lot of nonsense from eco-warriors, greens and others, who have no idea about the growing demands for London's roads!
Funnily enough, I think this idea could work. I agree that it would be fraught with difficulty and hideously expensive but, and it's a big one, it would take a lot of strain off of the M25. When the M25 was conceived, it was seen as a ring road for London, with traffic being able to by-pass the city. A second ring road for London traffic travelling around the city etc was meant to have been put forward. However, it was seen as too controversial due to the then requirement to demolish a lot of homes to build the road. In the end, it was seen as a toxic idea by all political parties and was dumped. The effect was to cause the massive jams that we see on the M25, which carries far more traffic than it was designed for, as it currently has to carry traffic by-passing London and that traffic which wants to get from one side of London to another. Sadly, I cannot see it happening. The cost will be truly enormous and we will get a lot of nonsense from eco-warriors, greens and others, who have no idea about the growing demands for London's roads! QPR4Me
  • Score: 2

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