Source: United Kingdom – Government Statements
- as part of the recent TfL bailout, the Transport Secretary stated work on the ferry service be accelerated
- ferry will allow people to cross the Thames, reducing the extensive detour currently needed
- Government Taskforce continues rapid work to establish how bridge can be brought back into use
Today (5 November 2020) the government can announce that, as part of the London bailout, TfL has been required to procure a ferry service for passengers across the Thames near Hammersmith Bridge. The service will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel point to point, avoiding a circular trip across other bridges.
The announcement follows the establishment by the Transport Secretary of a taskforce to bring together partners, including Hammersmith and Fulham council and TfL, to provide rapid solutions to the bridge’s closure.
As a condition of the £1.7 billion bailout provided to TfL on Saturday, the Government insisted TfL commence work both on the temporary ferry service and work to establish how Hammersmith Bridge could be brought back into use.
Procurement will start this week and a service active in the new year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
For too long residents have suffered as those responsible have failed to deal with this issue. I’m pleased to say that, following our funding deal with TfL, alongside the excellent work of our Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, this first step is becoming a reality.
We must of course crack on with longer term solutions and that’s why I also insisted TfL allocate part of the bailout to examining how the bridge can be brought back into use. I look forward to seeing this work in the not too distant future.
The Minister in charge of chairing the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, Baroness Vere, said:
As chair of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, I am pleased to oversee this important step.
The Taskforce quickly identified a ferry service as the most rapid solution available in the short-term and that’s why we made it part of the TfL deal.
I look forward to working with the Taskforce to progress this as well as establishing how the bridge can be brought back into use.