Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Hammersmith Bridge campaign on Easter Saturday. This was covered in the ITN London news and several local newspapers.
On Tuesday, I secured an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons Chamber on funding for the restoration of Hammersmith Bridge. This was covered in the Evening Standard.
In my speech, I made clear in great detail why it is only the Government that can provide the up front funds to repair the Bridge and build a temporary crossing to ease the pressure and damage the closure is causing. Hammersmith and Fulham have now spent £8.6 million on surveys and repairs and developing the plans for the temporary bridge and full restoration. The cost is £141 million and the Council’s annual budget is £124 million. But their proposal is for a new financial body which could be underwritten by government funds, and would need legislative support from the Government as well. So the ball is in the Government’s court and I hope for some positive action from the Minister in the debate.
I was joined in the debate by the MPs for Richmond Park, Hammersmith and Brentford and Isleworth who are also very affected, and I widespread impact that this is having is well known. There really is no reason for the bridge to have now been closed for over 2 years.
However, the Minister’s response was totally unsatisfactory.
You can read my speech in full and the Minister’s reply here.
You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/FEBZAHWU0DQ
I have followed this up by writing to the leader of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, Baroness Vere, to request an urgent meeting to discuss several funding options that have been formulated and proposed to the taskforce by the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
I will not be letting off the pressure and I will keep you posted on my progress.