With local residents and businesses on arrangements for repairs
Councillors at Tuesday night’s strategic planning and transportation scrutiny committee gave their backing to plans to get the works completed as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost to the borough’s council tax payers.
An independent study has shown that the Grade II Listed bridge requires around £1.5m worth of repairs. Engineers have found that the bridge’s waterproof membrane, which protects the internal structure from water penetration, and its road surface are both nearing the end of their service life.
Councillors were told that if the bridge was completely closed to vehicle traffic the repairs could be completed within six months at a cost of £1.5m. This is the plan they approved.
An alternative repair plan would retain a single lane of traffic, but the works would then take 11 months to complete and cost an additional £350,000 – a sum which would have to be met solely by Wandsworth’s council tax payers.
Residents are already contributing £150,000 towards the repair bill, but the remaining costs are being met by grants from the Department of Transport (£1.05m) and the London Bridges Engineering Group (£300,000) following successful lobbying of these organisations by councillors and council officers.
Following last night’s committee decision, the council’s cabinet member for transport Cllr Russell King is now keen to hear the views of local residents and businesses.
““We think that keeping the disruption down to the shortest time possible will be preferable to local businesses and the travelling public. That is why we are inclined towards a six month timetable rather than one that would take almost twice as long. The consultation will allow us to assess whether this is the case.
“In addition, there are also clear financial benefits to local tax payers if we are able to get the job done quicker.The bottom line is that the works do need to be done and the bridge does need to close for a period of time to allow this to happen. Our priority now is to get the job done in the best possible way.”
Residents and businesses who want to express a view on the proposed arrangements should email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Operational Services, Frogmore House, Dormay Street, London SW18 1HA and mark the letter Putney Bridge consultation.
November 22, 2013