Update from Sarah Olney

Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park, has sent her latest update, which I reproduce in full below:

Dear Constituent

I wanted to update you on the latest news on Hammersmith Bridge.  

The Government Taskforce:  You may know that the Department for Transport recently set up a Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce. I was pleased to receive an update from Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport, on the progress made by the first meeting of the taskforce.  Government engineers are now assessing a wide range of options on short term and long term solutions for the bridge, including looking at possible reopening if appropriate mitigations can be put in place. The taskforce is also weighing up options for other temporary solutions, including a potential ferry service. The taskforce is meeting weekly and I look forward to further updates on progress in due course.

Hammersmith Council: You can view last night's Hammersmith & Fulham Community Safety & Environment Policy & Accountability Committee Meeting, which addressed the bridge situation,  by clicking here.

Temporary Crossings: The boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond-upon-Thames and the PLA, are analysing three potential crossing options at present.

Tow Path Safety Near Dukes Meadow: I have written to Hounslow Council to see what measures they can put in place to increase safety around Dukes Meadow to aid the increase in commuters and school children using the path when the evenings draw in.

533 Bus:  Many people have contacted me to say they are not seeing the extra service per hour which was promised by TFL. I have asked about this and they say that ‘as this was a short-term, temporary measure to increase capacity in any way possible, that extra bus has not been a scheduled service but has been travelling whenever possible during the hour to allow us to make the most of available vehicles and drivers.’ As of tomorrow, this will go up to four per hour which will be at regular intervals and will be timetabled accordingly. I am continuing to press them to add extra services to this route as I know many people are now reliant on it to get to Hammersmith. They are also planning on setting up some form of communications channel so you can feed your views on bus routes to them directly. I should receive more details on that this week which I will share.

Bridge Survey: Thank you to everyone who completed my recent survey. Over 2300 residents from across the borough responded with nearly half (48%) coming from the significantly affected Barnes area.

Key findings from the survey showed that:

  • 71% of respondents stated their lives had been negatively impacted by the bridge closure.
  • The main changes to people’s lives has been changes in travel routes (61% driving routes, 56% public transport routes) and where they shop (41%).
  • 93% of respondents want some form of motorised transport over the bridge whether that be just buses or buses and cars. The need for motorised travel was driven by older respondents who may be less able to use forms of active travel
  • An overwhelming 88% of respondents believe the Government should fund the bridge repairs

These results clearly show the huge effect the Hammersmith Bridge closure has had on residents.

As always, if you have any questions, do get in touch with my office at office@saraholneymp.org.uk.  And if you aren't subscribed already please sign up to my constituency newsletters using the button below.  I am sending out newsletters twice a week, keeping Richmond Park constituents informed about everything I am doing as your representative, both in Westminster and in the constituency.

Kind Regards

Sarah Olney
Member of Parliament for Richmond Park

This is very helpful, and thanks to Sarah for keeping us informed.

The only comment I'd make is that none of the politicians involved in this matter seem to have considered keeping Hammersmith Bridge car-free in the long term. It's depressing that their sole aim seems to be to go back to the bad old days of daily traffic jams on the bridge.

Come on, we can do better than that - let's take this opportunity to reduce the amount of traffic in London!

Posted on 18th September 2020

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