Updated: Feb 1
In a word, 'woeful'.
We are beyond disappointed that Boris did not have the courtesy to respond directly to the children in response to the hundreds of letters we posted to him at 10 Downing Street.
Even a joint card to all of them would have been more appropriate and personal than what we have received, over a month later, on 21 January... this letter from a minion at The Department for Transport:
"Thank you for your letter on behalf of the school children on 21 December 2020 to the Prime Minister regarding the closure of Hammersmith Bridge. The Prime Minister receive many thousands of items of correspondence each year and I hope you will appreciate that it is not possible for them to reply to each one personally in addition to discharging their other ministerial duties. Your email has been passed to the London Projects Team and I have been asked to reply.
The Government understands what a practical problem the closure of Hammersmith Bridge is causing to many people. Residents and school children are rightly angry at the. The Government wants to make sure that Londoners can move around the capital easily on public transport, through active travel and on our roads. As part of that, the Government wants to see Hammersmith Bridge opened as soon as safely possible. Hammersmith Bridge is owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Therefore, the responsibility for maintaining the bridge, and making decisions on its repair, lies with the borough.
Regarding the progress made to date, the Taskforce has agreed a TfL-run ferry service across the river would be the preferred transport solution to deliver a crossing for residents as a temporary measure. As part of the Extraordinary Funding Agreement, TfL committed to run the ferry service using active travel funding, alongside local contributions. TfL has commenced public procurement activity for the ferry and services are expected to start in spring 2021. TfL’s public procurement for the ferry service is well underway. The precise operational timings will be dependent on the programme put forward by the winning bidder. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is also currently considering proposals for a temporary bridge but no decisions have been taken.
For more information, including Taskforce statements, please see the
Hammersmith Bridge updates on gov.uk, which can be found here.
Thank you for taking the time to collate the letters and write to the Prime Minister highlighting these understandable concerns. I hope this information was helpful.
Policy Advisor, London Projects Team