Greg Hands Provides Update on Hammersmith Bridge

MP for Chelsea and Fulham Writes to Residents

Greg Hands at Hammersmith Bridge before the partial reopening

Dear Resident,

I hope you are well.

As the Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham, the closure of Hammersmith Bridge remains to be of great concern, and I continue to call for the full re-opening of the Bridge.

As you will know, Hammersmith Bridge, owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), was suddenly closed on 10 April 2019, leaving more than five miles of the River Thames uncrossable by motor vehicles. The decision to close the Bridge was made by LBHF, based on its assessment of the safety of the structure. On 13 August 2020 the Bridge was then fully closed, even for pedestrians and cyclists.

Following its sudden closure, I launched a petition calling on LBHF to promptly repair and reopen the Bridge.

I also hosted a public meeting, which allowed residents to put their questions to officials from Transport for London (TfL) and local representatives. LBHF were invited in good time to attend the meeting but refused to do so.

I am concerned about increased traffic and that the performance of the local road network has deteriorated sharply. Like many of you, I am also immensely frustrated about the delay in finding a solution. LBHF own the Bridge and it is LBHF and TfL who are responsible for the Bridge. The local council have failed residents and commuters, to safeguard this major artery and secure the necessary repair works to see the Bridge safely reopened fully as soon as possible.

In September 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport stepped in and established the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce. The Government is not responsible for maintaining the Bridge, nor does it have the powers to make decisions on its repair. The Government-lead Taskforce knocks heads together so that a solution is presented by LBHF together with TfL as soon as possible. In July 2021, the Bridge reopened to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic. However, Hammersmith Bridge is a vital traffic artery for residents, whether on foot, cycle, public buses or in cars. In March 2022, the Government announced a multimillion-pound funding package for vital restoration works to Hammersmith Bridge; confirming it will fund one third of the costs to stabilise the structure.

I believe this is a very welcome move and that we must now move forward to re-open the Bridge fully and safely.

Kind regards,

Greg Hands

The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham

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April 18, 2022