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Westway ho!

The closure of the A4 Hammersmith Flyover in London is thought to have stimulated rail ridership on Thames Valley services.

According to First Great Western more people than normal travelled on its London and Thames Valley services during the traditionally quieter period between Christmas and New Year.

The Hammersmith Flyover was closed after a series of inspections carried out by Transport for London showed up structural defects before Christmas. While diversions are in place, motorists can expect delays, particularly during peak periods.

FGW operates four stations within 3.5 miles of the M4, all with car parking facilities and fast times into London Paddington. These include Theale, off Junction 12 of the M4 and Slough, 1.5 miles from junction 6 of the M4. Reading is also a good alternative and Taplow is just 3.5 miles from Junction 11 of the M4.

Says FGW’s managing director, Mark Hopwood, ‘Rail passengers numbers in the London Thames Valley are higher than the same time last year, and it looks like the closure of the Hammersmith Flyover is contributing to that. We’re pleased that we’re able to offer a fast, affordable and convenient alternative for journeys into London.’

The flyover was forced to close after water corroded and weakened the cables that give the bridge its strength. TfL has vowed to make good the damage and reopen the road well before the start of the London Olympics.


  1. Keep the Flyover closed & knock it down. San Francisco and Toronto have knocked down elevated urban expressways with no Carmageddon. Having such great FGW service in the area means there’s no reason not too. Plus improved air quality, fewer vehicles on the streets, more use of public transport.


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