Richmond Park MP accuses DfT of ‘cover up’ after secret meetings on Hammersmith Bridge revealed

By Heather Nicholls

13th Feb 2024 | Local News

Richmond Park MP accuses DfT of ‘cover up’ after secret meetings on Hammersmith Bridge revealed. (Photo Credit: Sarah Olney MP).
Richmond Park MP accuses DfT of ‘cover up’ after secret meetings on Hammersmith Bridge revealed. (Photo Credit: Sarah Olney MP).

Richmond Park MP, Sarah Olney has accused the Government of a 'cover up' after she revealed that the Department for Transport (DfT), was holding secret meetings with Transport for London (TfL) and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) regarding the cost of repairing the Bridge. 

The meetings, revealed through a Written Parliamentary Question, showed that these bi-weekly conversations were shockingly 'not minuted', despite millions of pounds of public money being at stake. 

The revelations come as Olney welcomed the decision from Hammersmith and Fulham Council to open a temporary cycling lane across Hammersmith Bridge. The lane, which will open today for around 10 weeks, comes due to a pause in the ongoing stabilisation works on the structure.

However, the opening of the lane has been overshadowed by yet more accusations of a lack of transparency against the Department of Transport regarding the long term future of the bridge, which has remained closed to motor vehicles since 2019. 

Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, Sarah Olney said: "Getting a cycle lane on the bridge is a welcome step, but the fact repairs have been paused isn't cause for celebration.

"Government officials have been having secret meetings for months about how to get the bridge reopened, but despite £24 million of public money already being committed, they still won't give us a straight answer on when that's going to happen. 

"This stinks of a cover up. The Government promised to fix the bridge back in 2019. It is time for them to honour that commitment, show some transparency and end this ongoing nightmare for local residents."

     

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