Between the congested roads and overstuffed buses, getting from A to B in London is rarely as simple as it should be. We know what you’re thinking – if only there was some sort of network of underground tunnels to help us get where we’re going a little bit quicker. That would sort everything out.
Luckily, our ever-inventive Mayor is way ahead of us, announcing today plans to build a huge 22-mile motorway underneath the city. Budgeted at £30 billion, the ‘Inner Orbital Tunnel’ would form a subterranean loop that runs from Highbury in the north, under the river at Wapping, back under the river at Battersea then to Earl’s Court, Latimer Road, St John’s Wood and Camden.
If greenlit, the project would eventually see traffic congestion drop and air quality rise in key residential areas, and would be the city’s most ambitious engineering endeavour since… well, Crossrail. Speaking about the project, Boris Johnson said: ‘There are big arguments in favour. There are obviously arguments against.’ Presumably the arguments against include years of disruption as boring machines set about connecting the tunnel with the city’s existing road network, the challenge of ventilating the thing so that it doesn’t turn into a massive suicide subway and the growing irrelevance of cars in London.
Still, after skyward cycleways were mooted earlier in the year, we’re starting to get a very clear picture of what London may come to look like by the middle of the century. Personally, we’re still holding out ‘Futurama’-style tubes to suck us out of our bedrooms and spit us out at our desks 30 seconds later. Don’t let us down, Boris.
Thanks to standard.co.uk for the illustration