HBSOS Questionnaire To London Mayoral Candidates re Hammersmith Bridge

Answers in red

 

This response is on behalf of the London Liberal Democrat team:

 

Cllr Gareth Roberts - Leader of Richmond Council and London Assembly candidate for SW Constituency

Sarah Olney MP - Member of Parliament for Richmond Park

Luisa Porritt - Liberal Democrat Candidate for Mayor of London

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM - Liberal Democrat Assembly Member

All other Liberal Democrat London Assembly List candidates

 

1. Do you support the full repair of Hammersmith Bridge to allow it to take vehicular traffic again?

 

a) All traffic, including buses                                   YES   NO

b) Traffic limited by weight                                      YES   NO

c) (added by responder) Other - There is certainly an imperative to allow buses over again as a matter of urgency as well as blue light responders. There is also a broader conversation to be had with all communities relating to how other traffic is managed – the bridge may well reopen along the lines it operated in the past, however there must surely be a conversation to be had as to whether the previous status quo of 22,000 vehicle movements a day is either necessary or desirable.

 

2. If the answer to Q1 was yes, how do you believe this should be funded?

 

a) By Central Government                                       YES   NO

b) By TFL, by Local Government or                        YES   NO

c) By a combination                                                  YES   NO

 

If you said yes to c) above, please specify those who should pay and the percentage each should contribute

 

No local council has the funds to undertake a project of this scale. There may be discussions to be had in the future between Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Government about recouping some of the financial outlay but this is a major piece of infrastructure and the only body with sufficient resource is the Government. The Government’s unwillingness to adopt a ‘Pay Now, Negotiate Later’ approach has led to unnecessary delay and impacted thousands of lives unnecessarily.

 

3.

a) Do you support a toll charge to raise necessary capital to repair the bridge?          YES   NO

     If yes, who should pay?

 

b) Should there be a price cap?                                                                                              YES   NO

     If yes, what should the price cap be?

     Should there be any exemptions?                       

 

Given the refusal of Central Government to step in and fund the repairs then all alternative funding streams should be up for consideration. In the event that a toll was needed then a price cap would need to be negotiated and be proportionate to both the funding needs of the bridge and the needs of residents. Exemptions would also need to be factored in, such as those for those who are disabled or closest residents.

 

4. Do you believe that work to stabilise the bridge should start immediately, even before agreement on the funding for the total repair, so that it can be re-opened as soon as possible to pedestrians?       YES   NO

    As outlined in the joint letter from Cllr Gareth Roberts and Sarah Olney MP sent on 29/10/2020

 

5. A number of short-term measures to alleviate community hardship have been suggested.

    Which of the following do you support?

 

a) A ferry                                                                     YES    NO

b) A temporary foot bridge                                      YES    NO

c) A temporary road bridge                                     YES + NO

d) (added by responder) Other - a permanent walking and cycling bridge. Placed either between Hammersmith & Putney Bridge or between Hammersmith & Chiswick Bridges - the latter being particularly useful in relation to the proposed Stag Brewery development. The YES + NO answer - a viable vehicle bridge, YES. But not solutions that would reroute thousands of vehicle movements down side streets or involve demolishing houses – so also NO.

 

6. If you support a ferry

 

a) What would you see as the acceptable ticket price? Same as a bus ticket

b) Should there be any exemptions?                      YES

c) Should the ferry operate the same hours as the underground?

The ferry should run for extensive hours every day, matching the hours run on most London Underground lines

 

7. If you are elected

 

a) What would be your first action in relation to the Bridge?

Demand that the Mayor of London cancels the £2 billion plan for Silvertown Tunnel and instead commits funding for maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure

 

b) What would be your overall plan for the Bridge?

The overall plan for bridges should be a guaranteed funding amount from Central Government, which would either enable the GLA to take responsibility for bridges as was the position under the GLC or to allow a trust similar to the City Bridges Trust to be established. At all events the bridges MUST be taken out of control of local authorities who lack the capital resource for major failures such as this

 

8. Would you be willing to come to the Bridge and be photographed for our website to demonstrate your commitment to finding a solution?                        YES   NO