River Thames A-road named the most congested road in London

An A-road over the River Thames has been named the most congested road in London as drivers reportedly wait 47 hours a year in traffic.

A local MP has demanded Hammersmith Bridge is reopened to ease “nightmare’ traffic on the A219.

London’s roads remain the most congested in the world, according to new data from traffic researchers INRIX.

Its report names the A219 southbound from Fulham to Morden, which includes Putney High Street, as the most congested road in 2022.

Drivers spent an average of 47 hours a year sitting in traffic on the route, according to the figures.

Putney MP Fleur Anderson said: “It’s important to note that congestion isn’t only a nightmare for drivers in Putney.

“It has a horrendous impact on our air quality and on the lungs of residents – particularly children and the medically vulnerable. 

“The green buses have made a significant difference to our air quality and I support this being extended to all bus routes.”

It is the second year in a row that London has topped the ranking, which covers more than 1,000 cities in 50 countries.

The report found drivers in the capital spent an average of 156 hours in total held up in traffic.

Labour MP Ms Anderson added: “It’s a shocking finding that the A219 – which includes Putney High St and Putney Hill – is top of the global league table for congestion.

The closure of Hammersmith Bridge is undoubtedly a major factor and this must be a wake-up call for Government.

“I have led debates in Parliament and thousands of local people have joined my campaign to call on the Government to fund this major transport route.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport with these findings and asked the Government to finally take action.”

Hammersmith Bridge shut to traffic in August 2020 after small cracks in the cast iron pedestals expanded in a heatwave.

It reopened to walkers and cyclists in July 2021 but work costing up to £130 million is needed to reopen it.

Engineers began the first phase of fixing the bridge in February last year. Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s cabinet agreed a procurement plan for full restoration of the bridge on October 10.

The authority plans to introduce a toll gate on the bridge once it reopens to traffic.

A statement from the council in October said: “H&F’s construction costs and the ongoing operation and maintenance of the bridge would be funded by a toll or road user charge meaning that the users of the bridge, that is motorists, pay rather than the residents of the borough.”

But Ms Anderson said the proposals “would leave too much traffic still going through Putney” and tweeted that “we need Hammersmith Bridge reopened urgently. Without a toll.”

She also welcomed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which will slap drivers of the most polluting vehicles in all parts of London with a £12.50 daily charge by August 29 this year.

A H&F Council spokesperson said: “Hammersmith Bridge is one of the world’s oldest mechanical suspension bridges and one of the most expensive bridges to repair and maintain in the UK.

“Given the Government’s unprecedented demand that we contribute one-third of the full repair costs, we have no choice but to introduce a road charge or toll.”