NOTE: Following the formation of Transport for London (TfL), this road was reclassified in May 2000. This change was required because the Greater London Authority (GLA) Act does not give the Mayor for London powers to be the highway authority for motorways, but these roads were being transferred to the Mayor. It was therefore necessary to remove their motorway status before June 2000 when the Mayor took office. The Hackney Link is now simply a section of A12.
The Hackney Link was one of four independent sections of urban motorway in London, all built by the Greater London Council (GLC) during the period 1967 to 1973, funded by the Council with 75% government grant.
This road is dual 2-lane without hard shoulders, 2.5 km long, and runs northwards from the underpass to the A11 at Bow turning eastward to cross the River Lea; it is a continuation of Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach whose construction preceded it. The Northern Approach was never a designated motorway.
The roads were designed in-house by the Greater London County Council's highways department, and were the first to be built under the highway powers granted to the GLC under the Greater London Act, for compulsory purchase of land, line and side road orders. In both cases there were no statutory objectors, e.g. local authorities, and the few objections raised by land owners were resolved by negotiation, thus obviating the need for the schemes to be called in for inquiry into the Draft Orders, which could be confirmed by the Council.
By 1970 when the Link went to tender the GLC team was experienced in major projects, and the road, which travelled for a short length in cut and cover tunnel and had a river crossing, was basic civil engineering on a cleared site away from on line traffic, similar to the conditions for Westway and the Blackwall tunnel Southern Approach.
The only problem in respect of nearby residents was work in the proximity of the Camden/Hackney railway line for which only night possessions were available. Great care was taken with regard to night time noise, which even demanded the attention at site of senior council engineers during the night of 7/8 October 1971.
The work was let to Kier for about £5M and the overall cost was about £8M. The work was completed in 1973.