Repairing Hammersmith Bridge will take six and a half years and won't be open until at least 2027 – and only when someone finally agrees to pay for it
- Plans discussed last night by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, who heads the task force
- She said it would take six and a half years to fully repair the 133-year-old structure
- It was also announced that the ferry service would not be operational until the spring
- Londoners have been looking for a replacement since it closed in April 2019
The Hammersmith Bridge will not be opened to traffic again until 2027 – more than twice as long as previously feared, a task force has revealed.
The plans were discussed last night during a meeting hosted by Richmond Council, at which Baroness Vere de Norbiton, who heads the committee, said the repair would take six and a half years.
She told the task force, “The impact on South West London is not something the government wants to be responsible for. We all have to commit to see this project through to the end.
"At this point, and I think you will agree that given the six and a half year timeframe, there should still be several options on the table as we determine what the long-term project looks like."
London's Hammersmith Bridge pictured above will not be opened to traffic again until 2027 – more than twice as long as previously feared, a task force has shown
It was also mentioned that the ferry service that allows passengers to cross the Thames will be up and running until spring due to a lengthy procurement process and delays.
A disappointed local whose children go to school across the river responded to the announcement.
Julia Watkins, 51, who lives in Barnes, told the Evening Standard, “These long delays mean children ages six and older have to cycle eight miles a day.
“Old people have to pay £ 40 a time for taxis to come to the hospital on regular appointments.
"Businesses collapse and ambulances can't reach us."
Londoners have been looking for a replacement that could cost up to £ 163 million since Victoria Bridge closed in April 2019 when they were forced to use other junctions further downstream.
The intersection was closed with little warning after security inspectors found the cracks in the 133-year-old structure had deteriorated after a summer heat wave.
MailOnline previously announced that parents at St. Paul's School were using small boats to transport their children between the banks for £ 39,000 a year.
Children of local residents show their banners in protest. Hammersmith Bridge is closed to all road users, cyclists and pedestrians. It used to be that people gathered to express their concerns
Hammersmith Bridge in West London, which closed to pedestrians and cyclists without warning after security inspectors found that cracks in the 133-year-old structure had deteriorated
The Ministry of Transport announced earlier this month that it had committed to implementing a solution for pedestrians and cyclists no later than early next year.
Hammersmith Bridge has become a political swing ball, with both Conservatives and Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan taking responsibility for not fixing the problem.
In a blazing war of words last month, Tony Arbor, a member of the Tory London Assembly, told the mayor to "man" himself and take charge of the problem for causing an "existential crisis" for local businesses.
Mr. Khan hit back: "It's not about 'manning', it's about the government stepping up and providing the funds so badly needed by local residents and businesses."