The Government has instituted a task force, led by transport minister Baroness Vere, to take control of fixing Hammersmith Bridge, which has been closed for nearly 18 months following the discovery of cracks in the structure.
They will work towards reopening the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, before moving on to enabling the return of motor traffic.
The Department for Transport has commissioned its own engineering advice on the state of the bridge. Hammersmith & Fulham Council estimate that the cost of repair could be £46m.
In a statement, H&F Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, said: “Our engineers have worked around the clock to develop shovel-ready plans to make Hammersmith Bridge safe and fully restore it. We therefore welcome the government’s announcement today as a signal that they now intend to engage constructively with us on this matter, and we hope they will now work with our cross-party team to prioritise the needs of residents on both sides of the river.
“There is an urgency to tackling this issue, so while Transport for London (TfL), Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond councils will play a full part in the government’s taskforce, we must avoid an empty talking shop. Only the government has the financial resources to fix this bridge. Ministers must urgently commit to funding the necessary repairs.”