Council Leader speaks out on Hammersmith Bridge closure

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, has given his backing to residents saying that it is simply unacceptable they are having to pay the price for the recent closure of Hammersmith Bridge.

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The bridge closed back in early April and as a result traffic is now having to be re-routed through large parts of Wandsworth, with Putney, in particular, having to bear the brunt of increased buses and traffic.

It is estimated that in the weeks since the closure Putney Bridge is experiencing more than 4,000 extra vehicles every day, with 2,000 more on Wandsworth Bridge and an extra 1,000 daily vehicles on Battersea Bridge.

It has also been reported that Hammersmith Bridge needs up to £40m of repairs and that It could be up to three years until the bridge is opened to traffic again, but Cllr Govindia says that is simply not good enough.

He said: “Hammersmith & Fulham Council has singularly failed to keep this bridge in good working order. TfL has said it won’t have a plan for reopening the bridge until after August and it still isn’t clear who will be picking up the bills for these repairs.

“Meanwhile our residents, who are having to bear the brunt of this bridge closure, remain in the dark as to what is now happening and what sort of traffic levels Hammersmith Bridge will be able to take in the future.”

The additional traffic that is now being re-routed through the borough is having an impact in terms of noise, congestion, pollution levels and rat running and is also putting extra stress on the infrastructure of the Wandsworth road network.

Cllr Govindia added: “The Nitrogen Dioxide pollution levels on Putney High Street, which we had managed to control and reduce, have now gone up by four per cent and all this extra traffic is having a devastating effect on our roads, bridges and the surrounding areas. And yet our residents have no idea when they are going to get respite from any of this.

“It is about time the people of Wandsworth had an answer from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, as well as TfL, as to what is happening to Hammersmith Bridge, when will it be put right and when they can they see the end to the nightmare of additional traffic that is now plaguing our roads.”