Putney MP calls on Government to reopen Hammersmith Bridge

The MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields called on the Government to reopen Hammersmith Bridge during a parliamentary debate last week.

The Labour MP, Fleur Anderson has been campaigning since the bridge’s closure in 2019 due to ‘concerns about cracking in the infrastructure’, according to TFL.

Anderson called the debate to convince the Government that funding the repairs to the bridge is essential for her constituents and residents in surrounding constituencies.

Anderson said: “The closure has led to increased pollution, congestion, and disruptions, affecting businesses and individual’s alike.

“Enough is enough – we need this conversation to be reopened and for the Government to listen.”

The Government has asked Hammersmith and Fulham Council to contribute £80million to the repairs, but with the Council’s annual budget for all services standing at £132million, Anderson argued that it is not feasible for the Council to commit to such a task.

Anderson said: “My ask to the Government is very straightforward.

“To do everything in its power to urgently fund the restoration and reopening of Hammersmith Bridge at the earliest opportunity.

“We clearly need a new approach that safeguards our bridges for generations to come.” 

The Minister for Roads and Transport, Guy Opperman, was asked by Anderson whether the Government could confirm any further contribution towards the repairs and when residents can expect to see the bridge open to vehicles once again.

Opperman confirmed that £10million had already been paid out by the Government to fund the repairs.

Anderson pushed back and referred to the £10million as an insignificant contribution to the total costs of the project estimated at £250million

Opperman said: “I continue to assure her that the Department will provide support to both the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and to TfL on the bridge project as it goes ahead.” 

The MP for Hammersmith, Andy Slaughter, also raised his concerns on at least six occasions with the previous roads Minister who failed to reply and address the matter before he was reshuffled last week.

As well as asking for more financial contribution to the repairs on Hammersmith Bridge, Anderson called for a comprehensive review of the ownership and funding of London bridges to ensure these pieces of integral infrastructure are appropriately maintained.

Featured image: Jim Linwood, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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