Shapps under pressure to act on Hammersmith closure

The Transport Secretary is under pressure from MPs in London to fund the reopening of Hammersmith Bridge, as he is being told the two-year closure had become an “international embarrassment”.

The Evening Standard reports that London MPs have demanded Grant Shapps honours a pledge he made last September to “take control” of the project and reopen the 134-year-old bridge.

Fleur Anderson, the Labour MP for Putney who secured a Commons debate, said: “It can’t be left to rot. It’s an international embarrassment.”

The report says Ms Anderson said many of the 4,000 vehicles a day that crossed Hammersmith Bridge were diverting across Putney Bridge, worsening pollution in Upper Richmond Road and in Putney High Street, one of the capital’s worst toxic air hotspots.

“The impact it’s having on people’s lives is enormous. It needs to be tackled urgently. I’m really frustrated at the lack of action on funding and especially the ‘taskforce’ led by Baroness Vere,” the Standard quotes her as saying. “It’s a major transport infrastructure route. It’s also a heritage project. It costs far more than any other [Thames] bridge. It’s not fair that Hammersmith and Fulham council are being told they have to put up 50 per cent of the funding.

“I’m all in favour of reducing car use but we can’t do it like this. You have to put in place ways people can reduce their car use and alternative ways to travel … rather than expecting people to give up their transport needs.”

(Picture – Yay Images)

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