The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has committed to the Department for Transport funding a third of the cost of repairing and reopening Hammersmith Bridge in London, provided Transport for London and the local borough chip in too.
The Standard says the aim is to get the bridge reopened this summer initially to cyclists and pedestrians – and in the longer term to cars and single-deck buses.
It adds that Mr Shapps believes the 134-year-old cast iron bridge can be restored for about £90m, less than the TfL and council estimates in excess of £140m.
The bridge has been shut to traffic for 18 months, and is currently closed off to pedestrians and cyclists because structural surveys suggest it’s in “immediate danger” of collapse.
The Standard adds that TfL’s contribution will come out of the latest government bailout, meaning that in reality central government will pay that share too, but Hammersmith and Fulham Councils’ Labour leader is unenthusiastic about the idea saying the offer “party political game-playing” and indicating he is not prepared to foot the council’s share of the bill if it means “hefty council tax rises” for residents.
(Picture – Yay Images)