|Putney MP Asks for Urgent Hammersmith Bridge Meeting|
Wants Transport Minister to explain continued delay on reopening
Putney MP Fleur Anderson has asked the Transport Secretary for an urgent meeting to explain the delays on reopening Hammersmith Bridge.
She says that it has been more than 5 months since Grant Shapps announced a ‘decisive and quick’ new Taskforce to get the bridge reopened, promising not to ‘let hard-working Londoners suffer any longer’.
Since its creation the Taskforce has yet to fund any work to the bridge and discussions about who is responsible for funding remains mired in disagreement. Hammersmith and Fulham Council have submitted a funding plan for the Bridge which they have asked the Taskforce to approve so that works can start on repairs. Ms Anderson wants this plan to be expedited to end travel misery for Putney residents
This week she has joined forces with other local MPs and sent a joint letter to Grant Shapps. The other signatories are Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith), Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) and Ruth Cadbury (Brentford & Isleworth).
The minister is asked to explain why consideration of how the repairs will be funded was removed from Taskforce meeting agendas and not discussed until October.
The letter says that the government should stop asking Hammersmith & Fulham to pay 50% of the cost which is beyond its financial capability and the precedent for similar infrastructure projects is that the local authority should pay in the region of 15%
Ms Anderson said, “I am very concerned by the lack of action from the Taskforce. This is delaying the reopening and, in the meantime, residents face a daily disruption, delays, congestion and additional pollution. They are cut off from schools, hospitals and work.
“Enough is enough. Almost half a year has been wasted. The Taskforce must stop obstructing progress. No Council has the money needed to reopen the bridge. Only the Government have funding for large scale vital infrastructure investment. If the Taskforce want to get the bridge re-opened, the Chair must accept the realities of local government funding constraints and take decisive and quick action to fund the restoration.
“I have asked for an urgent meeting with the Transport Secretary to ask for an explanation on the delays and why hard-working Putney residents are still suffering on his watch.”
February 25, 2021