Here's what Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said today:
“Our team continues to work night and day alongside the world’s leading structural engineers to fully understand the extent of the flyover’s structural problems. I have been inside the flyover and seen for myself the unique issues we face.Deputy Leader of H&F Council Nick Botterill is far from impressed. He has said:
“Safety must be our top priority and we have not taken the decision to close the flyover lightly. However, we are working flat-out to determine what measures we must put in place to safely reopen the flyover as soon as possible. Also, to ensure we can strengthen the structure and extend its life over the longer-term.
“In the meantime, drivers are strongly advised to avoid the area if they can or allow more time for their journeys. I apologise for the disruption, but assure Londoners we are doing all we can to reopen the flyover and to minimise the disruption the closure is causing.”
“We want to get to the bottom of what is happening, as it is simply inconceivable that the main route into and out of London in the west remains closed and may not even reopen in time for the end of the holidays.Saturday UPDATE - The Head of TfL, Peter Hendy, has responded to Cllr Botterill, with the news that a lack of waterproofing meant that water damaged the steel cables, which in turn rendered the bridge potentially unsafe. It is expected to open during the second week of January. You can read the full email on the H&F Conservatives blog here - and well done to the Council for at least getting the Head Honcho's attention and personal commitment.
“We are in continuous contact with TfL’s most senior officials, as well as the engineers on the ground, and are demanding that we get real answers to our questions about what is happening, why the closure is necessary and when this problem will be solved. We have written to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Mayor of London about this, and Peter Hendy, commissioner of Transport for London, has already agreed to meet us early next week to explain what the problem is and how it will be resolved. We need action - and quickly.
“The closure is a disaster for local residents, motorists and the borough’s economy, and this council will do everything in its power to mitigate any further adverse impact a continued closure will have.”