By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter
The government has announced it will set up a taskforce to oversee the restoration of Hammersmith Bridge.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday said: “When it comes to the Hammersmith Bridge there has been a lack of leadership in London on re-opening this vital bridge.
“It’s stopped Londoners moving about easily and caused huge inconvenience to everyone, adding extra time to their commute or journeys.
“We won’t let hard-working Londoners suffer any longer – the government is setting up a taskforce to establish the next steps in opening the bridge as speedily as possible.
“We’ll be decisive and quick to make sure we can take steps that’ll be good for commuters, good for residents and good for business.”
A priority for the taskforce will be to ensure that the 133-year-old bridge can be reopened to cyclists and pedestrians “at a minimum”.
It comes after months of arguments about who should pay for the bridge’s expensive repair bill, estimated to be more than £140 million.
The government’s announcement did not confirm how much money it will contribute, although it said the Department for Transport will commission its own engineers to take over the project.
The grade II*-listed bridge closed in April last year when microfractures were discovered in its iron pedestals.
The taskforce will be led by Baroness Vere of Norbiton.
Pictured top: Hammersmith Bridge
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