Hammersmith and Fulham council announced in August that Hammersmith Bridge would be closed for the foreseeable future due to a “sudden deterioration in key parts of the suspension structure”. Local residents on both sides of the river are left without a vital crossing in one of the busiest parts of the country. Access to Schools, Hospitals and work has been severely disrupted. In response, TFL has laid on more buses and will take a far longer route.
Richmond Council and Sarah Olney MP have written to the Army and Secretary of State for Defence asking for help. They make the request,
“It is with this immediate need that we write. A number of our residents have raised the exceptional expertise of our Army engineers in dealing with similar scenarios overseas. While we realise that this written approach is unconventional. We are asking if you would allow for the REME and Royal Engineer’s expertise to be used to evaluate the possibility of (and if necessary deploy) an urgent bridge crossing.”
The full letter can be accessed in full on this link:
Cllr Ehmann, said: “This is now critical. Without urgent funding, the Government is effectively blocking part of West London off from the Capital. Last week we saw hundreds of people protest at the bridge, urging the Government to put their hands in their pockets. The Government must listen.
“Whilst responsibility for the bridge does not lie with Richmond Council, we will explore every avenue that could offer some assistance to residents. We have already said we will waive our fees for the planning process for a temporary bridge and are working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to see whether ferry services might provide a short-term solution. We are doing absolutely everything we can. Which is more than can be said for the Department for Transport. That’s why we’ve taken the highly unusual step of asking for emergency support from the Army. We need someone to step up”.
Even the New York Times has a view with a recent article imaginatively titled: “London’s Bridges are falling down.”
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