Warning that London’s bridges may need vehicle and speed limits

The London Assembly’s Transport Committee is warning that limits on vehicle numbers and speeds may be required on the capital’s bridges to stop them falling down.

In a report “London’s River Crossings – Bridging the Thames” warns that the closure of Hammersmith Bridge because of safety fears was a “wake up call”, and that consideration needed to be given to how the “ageing transport assets” can be managed more effectively.

It makes five recommendations:

  • TfL, the Government and all impacted boroughs should consider formalising the Thames River Crossing Coordination Group overseeing the maintenance of river crossings in London.
  • TfL, the Government and all impacted boroughs that wish to opt-in should consider having a collective fund for maintenance of the relevant river crossings in London, into which all the relevant asset owners would contribute.
  • TfL and other asset owners in London should publish an annual report on the condition of river crossings in London, showing the need for maintenance, scheduled maintenance over the coming years and any capital projects that are planned.
  • The Government should devolve London´s portion of VED, currently worth around £500 million per annum, to TfL and make national roads funding schemes available to London boroughs, on the same basis as other English Local Authorities. This would allow a portion of the funding to be spent on the future maintenance of London´s river crossings, as well as dealing with London´s £241 million bridge maintenance backlog.
  • The speed and volume of road traffic should form a part of the reporting on the maintenance needs and costs for existing crossings. Options should be laid out for how maintenance can be made more affordable by means of controlling speed or volume of traffic, particularly for heavy vehicles

You can read the full report here.

(Picture – Yay Images)

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