Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce meeting, 4 February 2021

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The latest meeting of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was held yesterday (4 February 2021).

It was chaired by Transport Minister, Baroness Vere. Attendees included the Project Director Dana Skelley, plus representatives from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London (TfL) and the Port of London Authority.

Dana Skelley, speaking on behalf of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, said: 

At yesterday’s Taskforce, I updated members on the programme review sessions conducted with TfL. These sessions were designed to explore the specifications and designs for repair, and associated costs and timescales. Further to the completion of these sessions, there was agreement to using TfL funding, as provided by the Department for Transport (DfT) through the Extraordinary Funding and Financing Package agreed last October, to carry out activities which will de-risk the works programme.

In addition, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham provided an update on the feasibility study commissioned into the Foster & Partners and COWI temporary bridge proposal. We currently expect this study to be completed in the next 3 weeks.

DfT was grateful to have received the most recent business case for the bridge repair from TfL on 29 January, but it was accepted that a final and comprehensive case cannot be produced while other options are still under consideration and while DfT awaits further detail from LBHF on the financial case.

The Taskforce also heard the latest from TfL regarding the procurement for the temporary ferry service, with details of the 3 shortlisted bidders expected to be announced in the next few weeks. The timing for services beginning will depend on the winning bidder’s proposals, though the need to have the ferry running as soon as possible is universally recognised.

Lastly, we clarified why river users were unable to travel under the bridge while engineers were onsite due to the potential for their work to accidentally trigger the acoustic monitoring alarms. The activation of an alarm would cause the bridge to be evacuated and any transits to be stopped.

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.

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