Hammersmith Bridge, owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), has been closed for almost two years, leaving more than five miles of the River Thames now uncrossable by motor vehicles, and since last year by pedestrians and cyclists.
20,000 vehicles used Hammersmith Bridge daily prior to its closure. After the closure, but before the Pandemic, 15,000 of those vehicles are making journeys via alternative routes. The performance of the road network has deteriorated sharply. Fulham Palace Road is taking an additional 3,000 vehicles a day and Putney Bridge is taking an additional 4,000 vehicles daily. It seems likely that both Munster Road and Parsons Green Lane are also taking hundreds of extra vehicles a day.
In addition to concerns about increased traffic, many of my constituents are immensely frustrated about the delay in finding a solution. Concerns are heightened with a range of concerns about dangerous school journeys, delays, access for emergency vehicles and obstructed river traffic adds to residents’ and school parents’ anguish. LBHF, who are responsible for the bridge, have failed local residents and commuters, to safeguard the major artery and secure the necessary repair works to see the bridge safely reopened as soon as possible.
In September 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport stepped in and established the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce. The Department for Transport’s Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce is led by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and has called in specialist engineers to deliver rapid solutions and Dana Skelley OBE has been as the Project Director.
Hammersmith Bridge is a vital traffic artery for all of our constituents, whether they be on foot, on cycle, on public buses or in cars. Therefore, Greg Hands MP continues to fight for the bridge to be reopened safely at the earliest opportunity for pedestrian and cyclists and motor vehicles including buses and emergency services.