Could The Westway be Next to Close?

TfL insider says all London's overhead roads have come to the end of their life


Latest information from TfL

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An insider with Transport for London has predicted that the Hammersmith Flyover will be closed before and after the Olympics, with restricted opening permitted during the Games.

The insider, who accused TfL bosses of "spinning lies and deceit" has also claimed to the Fulham Chronicle that other overhead roads including the Westway may also be forced to close, saying: "The Westway faces the same problem.

"All of London's overhead road structures are going to as well. It's the end of their 50 year life.

" It's coroding concrete, it's the same everywhere, but especially here because of the salt used to de-ice roads during the winter time."

This new claim comes on the day London Mayor Boris Johson paid a high profile visit to the flyover, and was told that investigations of the extent of the damage must continue for a further week before engineers can decide whether it is strong enough to allow its reopening even to light traffic. which has been closed since December 23.

Today the team on site also outlined the measures they have put in place. They include:

Traffic police rapid response units on placed on permanent standby in the area so they are ready to unblock any incidents or clear accidents as soon as possible;

Local traffic diversions, along with Variable Messaging Signs – including on Highways Agency roads – advising drivers to avoid the area as far out as the M25 and M4 from the flyover.  All signage, alerts and traffic mitigation plans are kept under nearly hourly review to minimise disruption or give drivers the maximum opportunity to avoid the area;

The re-phasing of hundreds of traffic signals in the area to reduce disruption as much as possible and ease traffic flow;

The cancellation of any non urgent roadworks in the local area and a daily review of whether other works should be suspended. Works cancelled have included previously planned works at Earl's Court Road, Cromwell Road and the Westway;

The creation of an extra lane on Talgarth Road to help minimise the impact of the closure;

Close liaison with the relevant local authorities to keep local people, businesses and organisations informed of the ongoing work taking place;

Plans to divert traffic from the M4 to other routes if necessary;

Working with boroughs on the efficient management of their roads to help cope with the closure

The Mayor said: "I want to reassure the thousands of motorists and local people who are suffering traffic hell that the flyover will not be closed one day longer than necessary. Safety has to be the number one priority but Transport for London will reopen this vital stretch of road as soon as they are able to do so.

" One thing I can assure Londoners of is that a plan is being finalised within the next few days and work is already beginning on strengthening the flyover so that it is fully operational well ahead of the 2012 Games."

January 6, 2012