The fourth meeting of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was held today, Thursday 8 October. It was chaired by Transport Minister, Baroness Vere and attendees included the Project Director Dana Skelley, Professor Norman Fleck, plus representatives from the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond upon Thames, the Greater London Authority, TfL, and the Port of London Authority.
Dana Skelley, speaking on behalf of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce group, said:
Today the task force progressed options for a temporary solution for pedestrian and cycling traffic, including a TfL-run ferry service and emergency stabilisation works. All work is aimed to allow Londoners to quickly and safely across the river. We are committed to this being in place as soon as is possible and by early 2021 at the latest.
The taskforce discussed the impact of the closure of the River Thames and the urgency of re-opening the river as soon as it is safe to do so. Urgent work has begun, involving the Port of London Authority, with the aim of completing the risk assessment by November at the latest.
Meanwhile Professor Norman Fleck, a fracture mechanics and materials expert advising the taskforce, has already held constructive conversations with engineers – he will continue to do so to further progress plans for the bridge’s re-opening. As a group, we continue to work tirelessly to identify the issues, solutions and timelines for re-opening the bridge and will provide more information on these in due course.
The taskforce is fully aware of the high level of public interest in the work of the taskforce and are grateful for the constructive suggestions which have been forthcoming from both groups and individuals. We will hold a virtual meeting with resident representatives to allow them to put their questions directly to senior representatives from the taskforce.
The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was set up by the Department for Transport in September 2020 to work towards safely reopening the Hammersmith Bridge. The taskforce is chaired by Baroness Vere and includes representatives from TfL, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Network Rail, the Greater London Authority and the Port of London Authority.