The council said it was drafting plans to show Transport for London (TfL) the benefits of the idea. TfL said any scheme would have to be fully justified and in line with the redevelopment of the area.

Councillor Nicholas Botterill said: "The Hammersmith Flyover is a hangover from another era that should never be repeated. The age of the ugly concrete viaduct in the sky is over and the age of the tunnel is coming.

"This elevated concrete monster has divided our town centre for decades – magnifying traffic noise and polluting our air in the process. Residents need to be at the heart of the debate about the long-term replacement of this ugly and out-dated structure and there is clearly a desire to think boldly. We have the will locally to make a tunnel happen and we have the latest technology to make it happen.

The next stage will require us to convince TfL that a tunnel is the best way forward to continue the regeneration of Hammersmith and reconnect local people with the river once again."

The council has invited residents to comment on its website.