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Charges could be introduced under private investor plan
Charges could be introduced under private investor plan

[Image: _119418284_hamm.jpg]

Drivers could be charged to cross Hammersmith Bridge, under new proposals set out by the council.

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Cracks in the cast iron pedestals closed the 136-year-old bridge in west London to traffic in August 2020.

Although the bridge reopened to walkers and cyclists last July, work costing up to £130m is still needed to reopen it.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council hopes private investors will fund the work and said a toll was the "only way" for it to be completed.

A tender notice on the government's website said the council was looking for expressions of interest "on the proposed commercial structures and risk allocation".

The council is seeking contractors, equity investors and debt providers to consider options including a design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) model, a design and build model, or other "concession-style models".

A Hammersmith and Fulham Council spokesman said the Victorian structure "is one of the world's oldest suspension bridges which is why it is one of Britain's most expensive to repair".

"So far, the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham have spent millions to make it safe," he said.

The spokesman added: "The government has decreed that Hammersmith and Fulham must pay an unprecedentedly high 33% of the total cost.

"The only way that can be met is with a toll and this has been agreed by all parties."

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