Thursday 21 November 2019 5:28 pm

Conservatives pledge temporary Hammersmith Bridge

A temporary bridge will be built alongside the closed Hammersmith Bridge if the Conservatives are re-elected.

Transport minister George Freeman announced this afternoon on Twitter that the proposal had gained his support, after lobbying from Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith.

Read more: Hammersmith Bridge won’t be able to cope with electric double decker buses

The temporary bridge would take two or three months to build and cost £5m, according to Goldsmith.

“This community cannot afford for the bridge to be closed for three years,” he said.

“It’s having a big effect on commuters, resident’s, local businesses and on security, because blue light security can’t cross this bridge.”

Freeman confirmed the Tories’ official support for the project in the video.

He said: “This bridge is an absolutely key North-South link, it bridges two communities [who] we’ve talked to here [and are] hugely affected.

“Let’s get the key people, City Hall the PM, the councils, let’s get this sorted.”

The Hammersmith and Fulham council closed Hammersmith Bridge in April due to “critical faults” that sparked safety concerns.

The council has said repairs could cost in the region of £120m and take three years to complete.

Transport for London (TfL) has so far committed £25m to the project to help with planning and design.

City A.M. reported yesterday that the planned upgrades would not allow TfL’s current fleet of electric double decker buses on the bridge.

A TfL spokesperson said that current electric double decker buses would be too heavy to cross the bridge.

They added that changes in technology may allow newer models to travel on it in the future.

“We’re always investigating other tech, and there is the potential for ‘opportunity charging’.

Read more: Hammersmith Bridge: Repairs could cost £120m and take three years to complete

“This is basically charging points along the bus route, where the bus can get a boost.

“That means that the battery doesn’t need to be as big, and therefore the bus isn’t as heavy.”