Residents say they are broken hearted over lack of action
Hammersmith Bridge lit up. Picture: Hammersmith Bridge SOS
A Valentine’s message to the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London. the transport minister and the leader of the council has lit up Hammersmith Bridge as residents aim to highlight perceived inaction over reopening.
This weekend marked six months since the bridge was fully closed and a local campaign group chose to mark the occasion with the UK’s biggest Valentine’s card addressed to Boris Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Grant Shapps and Stephen Cowan (leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council: the owners of the bridge) with love from the residents of SW London. It bears the message: "Broken Hearts, Broken Promises, Broken Lives, Broken Bridge".
It is nearly two years since the bridge closed to vehicular traffic and rows continue between the government, the Council and the Mayor as to how the reopening should be funded despite the formation of a task force that was intended to accelerate the process.
Hammmersmith Bridge SOS, who staged the illumination, said, “Children are enduring very long commutes to get to school in the dark on unsuitable flooded footpaths. Elderly people and workers are suffering much longer journeys to go about their daily business. When lockdown ends, the severe traffic congestion and pollution issues around Putney, Chiswick and Kew Bridges will return as a result of the loss of this major London artery.
“In a recent survey we conducted in association with the Barnes Community Association, 88% of responders in the local area said the bridge closure was having a significant negative effect on their mental health. The bridge closure has also had a serious impact on local businesses; many already pushed to breaking point by the pandemic.
“It is a great shame that we need to raise further attention to the complete inability of politicians from all parties to find a satisfactory solution, to proceed with the funding and works to repair Hammersmith Bridge. Also, to deliver the urgently needed temporary pedestrian crossing.
“Our Valentine’s card is intended to be a fun and entertaining way to draw attention to what remains a serious issue. The Bridge closure is a real problem for people, businesses and local lives in general. We very much hope our message will get through to the politicians concerned: SW London is fed up and angry with waiting for progress and results to no avail. “
Even should the method of funding be agreed, the latest estimate is that it would take six years for the bridge to fully reopen.
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February 15, 2021