MP: TfL must take over Hammersmith Bridge and reopen it to motor traffic

A West London MP has launched a petition to reopen Hammersmith Bridge to cars, buses and emergency vehicles.

Greg Hands, the Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, is also calling for the bridge to be taken over by TfL after what he described as five years of ‘dither and delay’ by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, reports the Evening Standard.

Stephen Cowan, Leader of the Labour-run local authority which owns the bridge, accused Mr Hands of only seeing its repair “as an opportunity for political mischief making”.

The Grade-II* listed structure has been shut to motor vehicles since April 2019, after micro-fractures were discovered in its suspension system. It is currently only open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has so far spent £30 million into ensuring the bridge remains safe.

The Government is looking for the total repair costs to be split between the Department for Transport (DfT), TfL and the council, though talks have hit a stalemate, with ministers yet to approve a business case filed by the local authority almost a year ago. Mr Hands last week called for TfL to take on the ownership of the bridge from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, describing the ongoing saga as a ‘farce’.

Upon launching his new petition Mr Hands told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The bridge has been closed for an astonishing five years now and the Government has exceptionally provided a lot of money to help them reopen it. It’s been five years of dither and delay from Hammersmith and Fulham Council – they’ve had long enough to get on with it. Now is the time for someone else to take it over.”


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