London mayor hopeful Rory Stewart pledges to fund Hammersmith Bridge repairs

Rory Stewart has been busy recently. An article in City A.M. says:

"Rory Stewart will guarantee funding for the £95m Hammersmith Bridge repairs if elected mayor. The independent candidate today pledged to underwrite the cost of repairing the bridge in his first week in office from Transport for London’s (TfL) capital account."

He also posted this video on Twitter:

The video in particular contains a number of inaccuracies:

  • "The bridge has been closed for months" - it's open to pedestrians and bicycles
  • "There is nobody working on the bridge" - yes, there are; I see them every day
  • "It's cutting off an entire community south of the river from accessing anything" - if anything, it's made it easier to get to and from Hammersmith
  • "A commute that used to take an hour is now taking an hour and 45 minutes" - not if you just take the bus to the bridge and walk over, or use a bicycle
  • "People are unable to get to hospitals" - nonsense
  • "Children are being forced to walk across this bridge" - this made me laugh out loud. Is walking bad for children?
  • "You can't even cycle a bicycle across the bridge" - I cycle over it every day!

Rory Stewart is the latest in a series of politicians who think that the way to win votes is to stand in front of Hammersmith Bridge and promise to reopen it to cars. Zac Goldsmith did it (and lost his seat) and Shaun Bailey has also given his (inaccurate) views.

It's very disappointing that these politicians don't even consider the possibilities afforded by the closure of the bridge to cars. Their attitude is that the only way to get around is by car, and they assume we all think the same.

Perhaps they should take note of a recent survey undertaken by Fare City that showed that younger people are in favour of keeping the bridge closed to cars.

Well, even though I'm not exactly a "younger person", Rory won't be getting my vote!

Posted on 11th March 2020

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