Hammersmith Bridge in west London has been closed after “critical faults” were discovered in the structure.

The iconic bridge opened in 1887 was shut to motorists on Wednesday aver safety concerns, cyclists and pedestrians can still use the bridge.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham said the bridge will be closed “indefinitely” to motorists, the council has blamed government for cuts.

In a statement London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham said, “We have a fully tested plan to refurbish the bridge and we’re ready to start work. But, due to government budget cuts, Transport for London (TfL) says it can no longer fund the planned refurbishment. This is a huge disappointment.

“Regrettably, we’ve now been left with no option but to close the bridge indefinitely until the refurbishment costs can be met.

“So, we’re supporting TfL’s call for the government to invest in this vital river crossing and national monument so we can get on with the work and reopen the bridge.”

Sue Terpilowski OBE, London policy chair, FSB said, “The issue of London and its infrastructure is now becoming an embarrassment to the Capital.  Two years ago, we were starting to think about getting sign off in Parliament for Crossrail 2, but that seems a distant memory.

“Since those heady days, we have seen the Elizabeth Line stall dramatically stall financially and now concerns remain over the safety of a key bridge in the capital, with no funding mechanism in site.

“TfL and Government need to sit down as a matter of urgency to work out a long term financial package as soon as possible and not wait for a full spending review as London and its image is suffering.”

The issues were discovered during weekly safety checks, over recent years the bridge has been closed due to structural issues.

Motorist travelling from Barnes, Mortlake and Richmond and Hammersmith will be affected along with bus routes, diversions are in place.

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