Thursday, April 25, 2019

This Weeks Breaking News From Taxi Leaks News Desk.



Published figures show that London Taxi Vehicle licenses (for the first time in many years) have dropped below 20,000 to 19,955 this week, a reduction of 101 on the previous week....and we’ve also been informed that another 2,700 are waiting in the queue for delicensing. 

At the last Commisioners meeting, Mike Brown was asked the question, what measures TfL are putting in place to safeguard against  drivers being thrown out of work, through not being able to find a suitable taxi to rent ?
The Commissioner refused to answer the question.

We are getting reports that since the changes to Tottenham Court Road by Camden Council, people are arriving late or missing hospital appointments 
London Travel Watch Have Out our advice that I f you have an appointment at UCH if the McMillan cancer centre, allow at least an extra 1 Hour to get there... as we’ve seen massive delays along Tottenham Court Road and the surrounding area.


Also in the news this week:
Highbury Corner is in a complete mess as the roundabout has been switched to two-way traffic.

Please drive carefully while pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic try to get used to the ensuing chaos of this new unneeded two-way system. 

Advice from TfL....Pedestrians should look both ways and be careful when crossing the road. 

Latest News Just In :
Mike Brown, Transport for London's commissioner has refused to quit over delays to the Crossrail project after a report suggested he should consider doing so.
Mike Brown told the London Assembly transport committee he was "fit" to do his role and the "buck stops with previous Crossrail management".
So in our books that would mean he’s actually passed the buck !

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
TfL’s email this week contained the paragraph : Bus routes have been moved from Gower Street / Bloomsbury Street on to Tottenham Court Road. Stewards will be in place this week to help guide you through the area.

In Camden’s councils unmistakeable style, the actual Stewards came in the shape of cardboard cutouts. Cheapskate measures from a cheapskate Council. 

Also in this weeks TfL email:
Taxi toilet trial
As committed to in the Mayor's Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, a three-month trial giving taxi drivers access to staff toilets at four London Underground stations has been launched.

The trial, which started on Monday 11 February, has been taking place to offer taxi drivers better access to toilets on the TfL estate. The stations involved are: Leicester Square, Oxford Circus, Victoria and Baker Street.

Could someone from TfL kindly tell Taxi drivers where they can safely leave their Taxis at Oxford Circus, Victoria and Baker Street, without the risk of getting a PCN or a letter from TPH for parking on a working cab rank ?????

EXCLUSIVE : Fantastic Victory For The Where Buses Go, Taxis Go Protesters


We’ve received word that Mike Brown has allegedly let it be known to the assembled trade reps at the last TOPS meeting that the trade is going to be allowed full access to Tooley Street. He said the results of the consultation are now in and they will be officially published in May. 

Although the reps have been tight lipped, the news has started to surface on social media. We wait with baited breath to see who will emerge first to claim... "it was all our work... honest". We may even see a few broken arms as certain trade so called  senior representatives, vigorously pat themselves on the back.  

Before anyone tries to claim it was all their work (where’ve seen that before?), let’s not forget that the ITA told everyone about this victory at the Bank Junction, back in December last year. 

Taxi Leaks would like to thank the true combatants, the true victors, the actual front line troops...the working drivers from all unions and orgs, who turned up time and time again to answer the call from the ITA, after the 13 week campaign, which has resulted in this fantastic victory.

This statement from the ITA:
Nothing's changed.
We told you before Christmas.
The results were due to be published in February. They held back because they did not want it coming out during protests.
They thought we'd just go away.
Remember, these ongoing protests are unprecedented.
The word is it'll be May, but could be delayed again. 

COME HERE.... THERES MORE!
But it doesn't stop there, there's more ... Another victory that seems to have slipped under the wire is the fact that Camden Council have decided to delay the Tottenham Court Road Northbound ban, until March next year. The Buses and Cycles only scheme was originally scheduled to be put in place from the 20th April, but it’s alleged the council planners were worried about a new wave of total blockades by the ITA and so have delayed their implementation till next spring. 

WHO SAID DEMOS DON’T WORK ???

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
As the General Secretary of the UCG Trevor Merrills says : 
"This isn’t about the colour of your lanyard.....it’s the badge on the end of it, what counts". 

Grant Davis LCDC congratulates all Drivers and the ITA who took part relentlessly in protesting. This shows just how wrong and out of touch Steve Mc and the LTDA COM really are with the conditions of working drivers. 

On international woman’s day, the general secretary and committee members of the RMT Taxi Branch, were joined in Parliament Square by their first ever elected female president, Michelle Rodgers.  

Is it not time the trade took a good look at their representation. As a working taxi driver, you need a bit more support than a new lanyard and a diary.....

The ITA protests were fully supported by the Secretaries/Chair and Committee members of the LCDC, RMT and UCG. 

With our largest org’s general secretary refusing to support drivers fighting for the right to go wherever buses go....let’s wait and see ( where have I heard that before?) how this is reported in the LTDA in-house publication. 

This isn’t the end of our protests, it’s not even the begging of the end.... but it is the end of the beginning. The fight for full bus lane access London wide, goes on from 8th May. 

DON’T FORGET : ONLY ONE DAY LEFT.
Consultation Alert  the taxi age limits and exemptions consultation closes tomorrow on Friday 26 April 2019. Please ensure that you have responded

     

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Khan Gives Full Support To Protest Crippling London's Businesses. Has He Made A Deal For Them Not To Mention Tube And Bus Pollution levels???



London has always been a world leader in transportation. We had the worlds first underground railway, which has its own contactless form of payment system (Oyster) negating the need for staff at most suburban stations.

Back in the 17th century under the Lord Protector, we had the world's first regulated Taxi service. 
It was in London where the worlds first ever Knowledge examinations were introduced for its Cabbies.
It was in London where Taximeters were mandated in every Taxi. 
It was also a first in London to have every Taxi wheelchair accessible. 
And also, again London was the first global city to mandate credit card facilities in every Cab. 

London’s Mayor Ken Livingston, introduced the ambitious ‘Congestion Charging Scheme’. But one thing Ken put into practise was his philosophy that before you can charge for congestion you have to create it, which he did on a massive scale. 

Road works sprang up out of thin air, left unattended for weeks, traffic lights were re-phased to cause as many hold ups as possible. 

Ken also issued the statement to the utility companies that all unessential road works should be completed before the start date of CC as TfL would not give permission for any non emergency work for a couple of months after implementation. 

The Congestion Zone went live at half term when roads are normally quieter, this gave the illusion that his new charge was a massive success and he set about planning an extension to the west. But his plans were thwarted when he was replaced by Boris. 

Recently we’ve seen Khan use exactly the same tactics as Livingston. The amount of empty buses running around central London mostly empty, is scandalous. Oxford Street has become the most polluted street in Europe (so we’re constantly told) yet going by the photos above, the biggest culprits to the congestion on this street is constant stream of buses running along It day and night. 

Then Khan makes the statement that most of London’s buses are in fact green... yet pollution levels still break the European legal limit...when we recently had a bus strike, pollution levels on that day dropped by 50%. TfL sources have told us the batteries that have failed on Hydrid buses haven't been rep,aced because of the cost and buses are running on pure diesel. 

Just How a Toxic Is Londons Air Quality?
The late professor Anthony Frew said in an interview on LBC that the reason we constantly break the European legal limit on pollution levels is because the limit is purposely set too low.

Fact : Not a word about the underground being 30 times more polluted than the streets above!
Did Khan tell the Extinction Rebellion he would fully support their protests if that said nothing about the pollution in the underground and stayed away from the tube exhaust outlets such as the one at Warwick Avenue?
Fact : While 10s of thousands of police are minding these brainwashed children protesting with Khans support....17 young people were stabbed on London Streets yesterday!

So, we now have the congestion charge and the ULEZ charge but London is still congested. One thing that Khan hasn’t done which Livingston did and that was to remove unnecessary road plant being left around the streets causing pinch points, he hasn’t re-phased the traffic lights to ease the flow.... why???

TfL are currently implementing mental traffic systems outside of central. In Greenford we have an unnecessary chicane in front of a small shopping centre where the road has been narrowed to accommodate a wider bus lane and two unused segregated cycle lanes, also the lights at a major intersection have been badly phased. This has resulted in traffic congestion for 15-16 hours a day, with less local parking for the local shops. These types of TfL funded scheme are spreading all over outer London. 

Many see the new charges as no more than a cash cow, it’s like charging for plastic bags in shops.... don’t ban, charge but make it affordable!!!

Could there be a reason behind Khan’s actions .... you bet your life there is....After the extension of the ULEZ zone to the North and South Circular Roads this will be followed by a further extension to the M25. Plus (we predict) the next poll tax style charging scheme on the horizon.... will be road pricing.

After all TfL are a over a £1bn in the red and the money has to come from somewhere... and the somewhere is me and you. 

One Law For Us.... And Another Law For Khan And TfL

 


Is It Time Khan Was Removed???
London needs a strong Mayor who can stand up to the snowflakes on the loonie councils, a Mayor that will put the essential needs of Londoners first, and yet not bend over backwards to facilitate the ease of passage of multinational registered abroad who pay little to no tax in the UK.

Never mind professing the ultimate lie that London is open.... it’s time to 
PUT THE NEEDS OF LONDONERS FIRST

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
We’ve heard Khan and a succession of TfL Commisioners and Directors lying to the GLA when addressing transport committees, Khan's exaggerated and fake news is legendary   

But his hatred towards the London Taxi Trade hasn’t gone unnoticed, in yesterday’s interview on the BBC Khan told interviewer Tim Donovan “I am always willing to meet with all protesters and protesting groups to discuss a way forward”. 

This is a blatant lie as Khan has constantly refused to talk to Taxi trade representatives over issues that affect out livelihood such as the ‘Where Buses Go, Taxi Go” 13 week protests. 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

City Of London Traffic Management Bulletin.....Latest News Update


Traffic Management Bulletin:

Latest News

On Sunday 28 April 2019 the London Marathon will bring athletes from all over the world to London. More information about the event and how it might impact on your journey is available on the London Marathon`s website.



View our interactive map showing road works, closures and clear routes through the square mile.
Routes Across The City Without Closures (Saturday only)




Eastbound

Holborn Circus, Holborn Viaduct, Newgate Street, King Edward Street, Montague Street, Aldersgate Street Rotunda, Aldersgate Street, London Wall, Wormwood Street, Camomile Street, Outwich, Houndsditch, St Botolph Street, Middlesex Street & Aldgate.

Westbound

Aldgate High Street, Aldgate, Fenchurch Street, Gracechurch Street, Bishopsgate, Threadneedle Street, Mansion House Street, Poultry, Cheapside, New Change, Newgate Street, Holborn Viaduct & Holborn Circus.

Southbound

Farringdon Street, Ludgate Circus, New Bridge Street, Blackfriars Bridge

Northbound

Blackfriars Bridge, New Bridge Street, Ludgate Circus & Farringdon Street.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

BREAKING NEWS : LEVC Manchester To Close Over Extremely Poor Sales.....by Les Reid.


LEVC MANCHESTER are closing down. Staff only told this week.

According to our Manchester correspondent, sales have been extremely poor, those few that have arrived in Town (around 10) have been sold here from the Birmingham Franchise.

The difficulty with the vehicle is that in the provincies like MRC, vehicles need to be Double Teamed (day and nights) in Liverpool much the same except, they call it 'short collar/ long collar'.

Electric vehicles cannot really work here, example, when I get the Cab in the morning, I need it to be fully charged. Then before I hand the Cab over at teatime I need to have charged the Cab fully, and SO DO MANCHESTER'S OTHER 1100 cabs.

How many charger's does anybody expect to find EMPTY at exactly the same time?

Interestingly enough LVEC have abandoned support for Diesel Cabs in the City, anyone with existing warranties on Euro 6 TX4s, will have to travel the 35 miles to Liverpool to have issue's dealt with.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan stated on Sky News broadcast yesterday: "The Extinction Rebellion protests are "inadvertently" driving people away from using public transport to use Minicabs and other things".

It would seem the Mayor, not satisfied with refusing to meet the Taxi trade and excluding us from his Transport Strategy....now finds it hard to utter the word TAXI. Is "OTHER THINGS" the new Mayoral term for the worlds best Taxi service? 

However, it's alleged the Mayor's office recognising the gaff, contacted press agencies that farms out stories to all the national and local press to get the word changed before it went on line or into print.

Most local papers changed Khans word in their online site to "Taxi"


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Central London Blocked By Protests, Yet Not A Section 12 Or 14 In Sight


A Taxi Leaks roving reporter spoke to the police outside the Shell building yesterday, with regards to the damage being inflicted by climate change protesters. 

She reported : One climate warrior, supper glued his hands to the Shell Building main entrance doors.


It was like talking to a robot.. the officer is standing next to a building covered in graffiti (criminal damage) there are two idiots on top of the ledge above the door, putting their own safety in jeopardy and yet a police officer is telling me, “this is a democracy and these people have the right to protest”. 

I asked why the police are not using the 1994 public order act to reclaim the streets back from the protesters as they have done many times in the past....The officer just kept insisting these people are not happy and have a right to be here??????

Funny, when the UCG held a series of Taxi demos in and around Westminster, the police invoked the Public Order Act and issued a number of section 12s and 14s.... putting a virtual stop on the organisers. 

But now it’s “these people have a right to protest and damage property because it’s a democracy”.

He claimed all the protesters were adults and when I said “so why are they not working today” the officer said “they ave prob booked holiday time off from work”...

Am I dreaming.. is this all a dream, will I wake up soon, or am I stuck on a bad trip entering the twilight zone ???


This county is unrecognisable I don’t want to sound like I’m paranoid but this isn’t normal is it?

April showers are what we need right now, because these brave eco warriors won’t like getting wet. 
Ironically, these protesters are calling for zero carbon emissions.... yet they are using spray cans, spewing out PSPs which is thought to be one of the worst environmentally damaging gasses there is.  

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
This situation with the relaxed attitude of the police stinks again of contrivance from a certain Mayors office. 
Surely, the more publicity about the alleged pollution the better.... makes the ULEZ charge look respectable, instead of another Tax on the poor.


Can we expect the same casual attitude from the police when we continue with the ITA protests?
Will Taxis be allowed to completely blockade roads and not leave lanes clear for emergency vehicles. 

These protesters have completely blocked Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge, with the intention to stay there for a number of day (most likely till the end of next week).... should we block Tottenham Court Road without leaving a clear lane for emergency vehicles for a couple of weeks??? 
Would the police again sit back and say.... well it is a democracy !!!!!

LATEST UPDATE FROM THE MET POLICE : STATEMENT ON EXTINCTION REBELION DEMONSTRATIONS...16/04/2019 13:30 BST. 


Speaking earlier today following the demonstrations in central London, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is currently dealing with a number of demonstrations taking place across London.

“We have officers out on the ground engaging with protestors and local communities to ensure proportionate policing plans are in place.

“We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.

“We are mindful of the impact the demonstrations are having on the local communities and are working hard with partners including TfL to keep London moving and open for businesses and visitors alike.

“At this time, ongoing demonstrations are causing serious disruptions to public transport, local businesses and Londoners who wish to go about their daily business. 

“As such a 24hour condition was imposed at 18:55hrs last night which stipulated that protestors should continue any demonstrations within the Marble Arch area only.

“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London. We so far have 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected as a result. Based on the information and intelligence available at the time, we are satisfied that this threshold has been met and this course of action is necessary in order to prevent ongoing serious disruptions to communities. 
“We are taking positive action against those who are choosing to ignore this condition and are continuing to demonstrate in other areas across London.

“At this time, we have made a total of 122 arrests. Five of which were for criminal damage following a disruption outside a commercial premises and the remaining 117 were made on Waterloo Bridge last night and in the early hours of this morning. The majority of these arrests were made for breaching Section 14 of the Public order Act 1986 and obstructing a highway. All remain in custody at this time.

“We expect demonstrations to continue throughout the coming weeks. We have significant resources in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and officers out on the ground who are well trained in maintaining public order.” 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tottenham Court Road To Go Two Way On Saturday 20th April 2019...Taxis Excluded From Spring 2020



Proving that consultations are pointless, (they just have one, using pointed questions, then do what they like regardless)TfL have issued this statement below about Tottenham Court Road.

On Saturday 20 April, sections of Tottenham Court Road will change to two-way traffic. From spring 2020, sections of Tottenham Court Road will become bus and cycle only in both directions between 08:00 and 19:00 from Monday to Saturday.

Access to loading bays will be maintained via the northbound lane on Tottenham Court Road.

Local businesses receiving or making deliveries should speak to their supplier about whether they can re-time deliveries to outside peak hours, or reduce deliveries by streamlining your suppliers and the number of visits they make to your premises. information, visit our travel advice page.

Please drive carefully while pedestrians, cyclists and traffic gets used to the new system.

For more information, visit our travel advice page.

Please drive carefully while pedestrians, cyclists and traffic gets used to the new system.

Yours sincerely, 
Glynn Barton
TfL Director of Network Management

Let’s hope that pedestrians are not mowed down by buses in the new scheme, like we’ve seen along Baker Street and Gloucester Place.  


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Camden Council posted this on their website 20 February 2018

The £35m West End Project will begin in early March.  Set to be the largest transformational scheme in the London Borough of Camden, the project will change not just how people travel in the Tottenham Court Road area, but how it looks and feels. 

Issues which have affected the area for some time, will be addressed, including poor air quality, traffic congestion, and a lack of public open space.

Well, in our opinion, they haven’t ‘addressed all issues’... they have just ignored the problems residents and  disabled road users have raised!

This scheme is being push through on safety issues, yet the London Taxi Trade has the best safety record of any firm of transport using this Street.  

When fully implemented, Camden will be discriminating against disabled groups. All London’s Taxis are mandated to be fully wheelchair accessible and is the only fully accessible service in Europe. 
Had 10-15,000 drivers turned up to stand and fight beside the 4-500 faces who regularly answered the call for over 13 weeks.....then it's possible we would have had an even greater victory. 

This type of situation isn't going to suddenly stop, or get better.....do nothing and you will lose the streets for ply for hire in. You will no longer be able to honour the abstract of law that clearly states you must drop your passengers to the destination of their choice, a door to door service. 
Camden's regulation from next year means you will no longer be able to fulfil your obligation under the Hackney Carriage Act. 


ITA protests are scheduled to start again on 8th of May.... Where buses go, Taxis go. 
These protests (which will now be supported by disabled passenger groups) will carry on indefinitely. 


Saturday, April 13, 2019

They're Are At It Again : Will Khan And TfL Use Buses To Create Pollution In The Suburbs?

Ken Livingston had the brilliant idea that before you can charge for congestion with public support, you need to create gridlock....and we all know what he did with the road works and the school holidays...."oh look I was right" he professed! 

Khan, with the help of TfL has done virtually the same thing with the ULEZ charge. They used a massive expansion in bus services day and night, to ramp up emissions. Traffic signal phasing tweeted beyond belief, average speed limited, unnecessary segregated cycle Lanes inserted forcing most traffic to use limited road space, with monitoring stations in the most predictable locations to cause maximum congestion, therefore massive pollution. 

Emotional blackmail using lies about children's lungs in MSM and on massive billboards and the snowflakes were all over it. The BBC ran stories of school playgrounds next to main roads saying this was toxic air, poisoning the children's lungs. 

Yet research (buried) has shown that pollution levels in London are 40% less than 40-50 years ago. 

Kings Collage research results has showen the Mayor's statistics were no more than guesstimates, plucked out of thin air. The news a few weeks ago that the underground (Tube) is 30 times more polluted than any of the streets above has also been buried away. (Wonder if we'll be seeing a ULEZ charge added to Oyster cards soon?)

The late Tony Frew said London's pollution is currently at 14 units....the world average unit is 7....that's 7 even if you were in the middle of the Amazon Rain Forest!

Currently London's traffic (that's all the traffic) contribute approx 2 units. The reason London's emissions are said to be illegal is because the limit is set purposely too low. If you were to ban all traffic completely, you would only reduce London's units by one seventh which would still have us above the legal limit.

Tony states the figure of 40,000 preventable deaths in the UK is fake. They use what's known as Zombie statistics to calculate results that don't really exist. 40,000 people are not dying due to pollution. Research shows that the average person (who may live till the age of 80) may loose three days off their life span, due to pollution. 

Needless to say, Tony's radio interview, has been buried under a mountain of propaganda and on occasion has been removed from YouTube

You can currently listen to Tony Frew's interview here : https://youtu.be/JKygNf6CKns

Getting back to Khan, his next plan is to extend the ULEZ charging area out to the North and South Circulars.....this has been delayed to 2022 as Khan is up for re-election on 7th May 2020 and he obviously believes residents in the Great London area will revolt against him when they are forced (24hrs a day) to pay this new form of PollTax. 

So, to charge for the massive pollution in the suburbs (Sic) he first has to create massive pollution there....and what better way than the tried and tested use of hybrid buses running on pure diesel. After all, it worked in Central London!

The ULEZ charge will net TfL billions and that's all it's about.

As they say....Follow The Money!!!

Well, there you have it in Khans own words. 

After they retro fitted the BUSES in Putney, the air quality improved by 90%..... So that means that London's buses are the ones that are responsible for 90% of the pollution.

It must be true.....it's come from the mouth of the Mayor!

Surely he wouldn't be lying......would he???

https://twitter.com/girlgrafter/status/1117223716608409600?s=21

See article below from MayorWatch.co.uk.

Transport for London have confirmed that a series of cuts to the bus network are to proceed, despite opposition from local politicians, passengers and the capital’s transport watchdog, London Travelwatch.

Last September TfL and City Hall unveiled plans to reduce frequencies on eight routes with a further three axed in their entirety.

One new route would be created and five routes would see frequencies increased, but many others would either be ‘restructured’ or shortened, meaning passengers would have to switch buses mid-journey in order to reach their destination.

Travelwatch expressed “alarm” at the proposals, warning they risked making the bus a less convenient and less accessible option for thousands of passengers, while London Assembly members and local councillors have also criticised the plans, with many backing petitions to save under threat routes.

However TfL today announced that despite the widespread opposition, it would be proceeding with many of its original proposals, including shortening routes 3, 4, 40, 45, 59, 67, 134 & 172, axing routes 48 & RV1 and reducing frequencies on other routes.

A proposal to axe the 271 route night service has been shelved and the agency will not go ahead with proposed alterations to routes 11, 19, and 22.

TfL claims the changes, which will be implemented from June, will make the bus network “more efficient”.

See full article here: https://www.mayorwatch.co.uk/transport-for-london-confirms-bus-cuts-will-go-ahead-despite-passenger-opposition/


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

Don’t be a Mushroom !!!

Come and join you colleagues fighting for our Trade

#LondonTaxiProtests on tour !
#WhereBusesGoTaxisGo

Our 'Where Buses Go, Taxis Go' protests will start again three times a week from early May.
Listen Out For Venue Announcements On Twitter And FaceBook.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Hammersmith Bridge Repairs Delayed Indefinitely. Nobody Knows When/If Work Will Ever Start


The cost of the essential work is going up and up while everyone is waiting

The cost of the essential work is going up and up while everyone is waiting.

The major Hammersmith Bridge refurbishment project has again been delayed, with the estimated cost of the work rising by £11 million.

The historic bridge was set to be closed for repairs by late 2018, but local leaders said the complexity of finalising the major engineering plans has set it back.

The work has closed the bridge, used by 20,000 vehicles a day for an unconfirmed period.

Figures provided to London Assembly transport committee chairman Caroline Pidgeon say TfL spent £546,000 by August 2018, on traffic wardens stationed at either side of the bridge to monitor weight restrictions.

City Hall officials also wrote that TfL said H&F had told the transport body work was unlikely to start before the autumn of 2019.

However, H&F says it did not know where that data came from, saying detailed planning was still under way, and the project is yet to be put out to tender.

"We don’t know why the Mayor’s office has given a start date of autumn 2019???
This is neither a date we recognise, nor one we’ve discussed with TfL," a spokesman said.

"There is no confirmed start date yet, but we will work with TfL to ensure residents are kept well informed, should there be any updates."

TfL added: "Hammersmith Bridge is owned and maintained by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and we continue to work with the council on their plans to repair it.

"We are talking to the council about timescales and the cost of the repairs so that these can be finalised over the coming months."

"This is a really strange situation that has been going on for some time and Hammersmith & Fulham is not being open about what's really going on," she said.

She added that if the problem was financing or complex works, H&F and TfL should provide more detail to the public.

H&F's spokesman rejected the suggestion of financial reasons for the delay, saying it was updating the public and other boroughs regularly via its website and in letters.

But Ms Pidgeon warned that TfL, already facing road maintenance budget cuts and the cost of Crossrail delays, needed to get the refurbishment under way before financial pressures worsened.
"TfL are having to pay with public money on the bridge for wardens when it should be paying for works to fix this situation," she said. 

The Grade II listed bridge has survived the Blitz and a bombing but has been frequently closed for repairs, as its Victorian era engineering was not designed to bear modern traffic loads.

Interim repair works have been meticulous, tools must be custom-built and whenever one of the bridge's 999 decking panels needs replacing it takes six hours to do so. 

Richmond Council transport lead Alexander Ehmann said the Liberal Democrat administration did not support the previous Conservative leaders' call for Richmond to take over the project.

However, Cllr Ehmann said Richmond wanted to plan its traffic management, and riverside residents and bridge users needed clarity too.

He added: "The bridge needs investment, and it needs strengthening works, and it needs a repair timeline. I would like to see that sooner rather than later."