Looking forward to the Hammersmith Bridge Task Force public meeting this evening with Baroness @CharlotteV. Share residents’ wishes for clear answers and timeless for real action and progress.
Important technical expertise from David Coles. Interesting but concise presentation from him.
Dana Skelley OBE now talking about the project stages & work carried out to date.
Detailed information on next phases needed for bridge repair, but hard to believe the costs.
Information now on permanent stabilization and future strengthening.
Now Summary Timeline.
Potential opening of the bridge, subject to risk assessment, may be possible after 4 months. Good news for residents, but sounds very uncertain. #HammersmithBridge
Now Cllr Sue Fenninore discussing H&F’s perspective. Cllr Cowan absent due to a personal emergency. @HFConsCllrs wish him well.
A noticeable shake of the head from @CharlotteV to some of the claims from Cllr Fennimore re the readiness of the plans.
Now Cllr Gareth Roberts apologizing for his role in Hammersmith Bridge and calling for focus on temporary bridge.
This time it’s @Heidi_LDN ‘s turn to apologise for @TFL’s role in #hammersmithbridge. Gareth Roberts photo for previous tweet.
30 minutes in and still politicians speaking. Cllr Fennimore spoke for far too long. Residents want and deserve opportunity to ask questions.
Now Bob Baker from Port of London Authority discussing issues facing river users. A small but important constituent in this situation.
Timeline for bridge reopening to vehicles 6.5 years!!!! 🤯

Mind blowing and a huge problem for West and SW London.

Even more of a reason for a temporary road bridge.
Dana Skelley now answering question about when could the bridge be reopened to pedestrians and cyclists. Partial and very controlled reopening could be open after full knowledge and understanding of condition of pedestals. Potentially 7 months I think.
Baroness @CharlotteV now addressing the funding issue. Crucial question.
Local authorities have legal responsibility for maintenance and improvements. Govt supports local authorities with funding, but in every situation with applications for funding, there is a local contribution.
Baroness Vere agrees that in this case that Hammersmith Bridge is exceptional and has and will provide support, and funding. She will take the case when it is finalised to the chancellor for funding.
@Heidi_LDN welcomes @CharlotteV commitment that Govt will meet a significant proportion of the costs for the bridge repair.
@Heidi_LDN now bringing up the possibility of a toll to cross the bridge. Potentially very unpopular and unfair to local residents.
@CharlotteV explaining how LBHF currently refusing to make any contribution at all. Shocking.
Government committed to funding bulk of project, but to be fair to tax payers nationally, there has to be a local contribution from LBHF & TFL!
Now question from resident about whether the possibility of replacing the bridge. Am sure there would be huge opposition from many local residents and civic society groups to this suggestion.
Now moving on to ferries. Issues relating to safety & capacity v. important. It would have to be publicly funded & is currently being procured. 66 days timeline needed to procure ferry under emergency timelines. Normally procurement would take a yr. Speed of mobilization crucial.
Cllr Roberts has committed @lbrut funding to support the ferry crossing. That’s the right thing to do. LBHF seems to be refusing to contribute funding to the ferry as well.
@Heidi_LDN explaining that TFL’s financial position is so serious that their financial officer has put a stop on all new funding. TFL’s bankruptcy & negotiations with Govt seems to be a serious problem for the ferry. @CharlotteV working on package to break that funding blockage.
Excellent question from Nicholas Reed-Clarke re a temporary road bridge. Bizarre refusal from Cllr Fenninore to answer the question from LBHF perspective.
@Charlottev makes an important point re the temporary road bridge and the greater need for a motor crossing with #hammersmithbridge closed for 6.5 years at least. Task Force will be looking at feasibility of a temporary road bridge.
Cllr Roberts making defeatist excuses about Extinction Rebellion for not wanting a temporary road bridge.
Important question from Jeremy Edge re the impact on house boat owners and other river users from #HammersmithBridge closure.
Bob Baker talking about controlled passages of vessels under the bridge. There have been two or three of these up to this point. PLA want to work with LBHF to have more controlled crossings.
Now question on school children travelling to and from school especially during dark nights.
@Gareth_Roberts_ discussing @LBRUT works to tow path and river routes that are under the control of Richmond Council.
@Heidi_LDN now discussing public transport improvements that may be made to manage the impact of the congestion around W/SW London caused by #HammersmithBridge.
533 bus route mentioned. Increased to 5 buses an hour, an increase of 1 per hour. Not sufficient in my view.
@CharlotteV summing up powerfully. Govt is absolutely committed to funding Hammersmith Bridge, but it does require a local contribution from Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
To be clear, this is something that @HFConsCllrs would be prepared to do if we were in administration. It is the only fair & responsible thing to do for our residents & taxpayers nationally.
Further reflections on last night’s #HammersmithBridge Task Force Public Meeting.

1. What has happened to the £25 million that TFL gave LBHF to investigate the bridge and begin first phase of the works?
2. With TFL contributing £5.3 mil from 2015-19 in addition to £25 million has LBHF actually spent any of its own money on bridge over last 20 mths & beyond?

3. What do LBHF have to hide? Spurious denials of FOIs suggest there’s something that officials don’t want public to know.
5. Claims by LBHF that they started investigations into structural integrity of bridge in 2014 don’t seem to stack up.

In 2016 Cllr Harcourt, Cabinet Member for Transport etc. stated that “there were no issues concerning structural integrity at current weight limit”
5. Cont... If works had begun in 2014 to investigate bridge, where are reports, who carried them out?

If this happened why were Mott MacDonald only hired in 2018, purpose being to see if weight restrictions could be lifted to allow double decker buses?

6. In conclusion, LBHF’s opacity & refusal to share crucial information & engineering reports with its official opposition, local MP & other interested parties only highlights the improper behaviour of the Labour Administration at LBHF. What do they have to hide?
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