Consultation on Putney Bridge closure

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Consultation on Putney Bridge closure

Tuesday December 3, 2013

Wandsworth Council has announced it is consulting on proposed arrangements to carry out major repairs to Putney Bridge.

The neighbouring council’s strategic planning and transportation scrutiny committee is backing plans to completely close Putney Bridge to vehicle traffic in both directions for six months, at a cost of £1.5m.

Those works would cost £1.5m but an alternative repair plan would allow buses to still cross the bridge but the works would then take 11 months to complete. That, however, would cost Wandsworth’s taxpayers an additional £350,000.

A recent independent study has shown that the Grade II listed bridge requires repairs because the bridge’s waterproof membrane, which protects the internal structure from water penetration, and its road surface are both nearing the end of their service life.

The council is asking its own residents, businesses and local organisations what they think about the proposals, but is also taking on board the views of people living and working in neighbouring boroughs.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council says that closing the bridge entirely would be ‘a disaster’.

He said: “We have been working hard over the past few years doing all we can to improve transport in H&F and cut congestion on our roads through our Get H&F Moving campaign. The main routes into and out of our borough are incredibly busy with huge volumes of traffic, notably the road connecting Fulham with Putney and if the bridge were to shut completely for six months that would be a disaster. It would cause a terrible knock-on effect for the rest of the entire borough, both on our roads and on our already jammed tube trains.

“While we understand this work must be done we want to see it happen over 11 months, which would cause less disruption for our borough, residents and people who work in H&F.”

Wandsworth’s transport spokesman, Cllr Russell King, said: “Unfortunately there is no way around this problem. The repairs will need to be carried out at some stage. Our main focus will be to ensure that they can be completed as quickly as possible and cause the least amount of disruption.

“We think that keeping the disruption down to the shortest time possible will be preferable to local businesses and the travelling public. That is why we are inclined towards a six month timetable rather than one that would take almost twice as long. The consultation will allow us to assess whether this is the case.”

Residents and businesses who want to express a view on the proposed arrangements should email dtshighwayservices@wandsworth.gov.uk or write to Operational Services, Frogmore House, Dormay Street, London SW18 1HA and mark the letter Putney Bridge consultation.

» Send us your comments now

This is a disgrace to close the bridge completely 11 months should be the time taken to do the work I work in Roehampton and use the 14 and 265 buses regularly how will I get to work. I'm not prepared to use other buses or go an alternative route so 11 months please
From BB on 12/04/2014 at 18:39
11 months please - and if possible try and keep the brigde open to buses, cycles and pedestrians. This is on a key cycle route and moving cyclists to other routes could cause extensive cycling diversions. Its already tough enough cycling in london please don''t make it worse. I will however look forward to a smoother rider over the bridge, it is the worst part of the journey with GIANT pot holes.
From KC on 11/03/2014 at 09:58
Please can you tell me what are the dates of closure or the date when you are going to announce the dates?
From Tomws on 10/03/2014 at 13:14
Clearly many of these comments have been posted by those who have no knowledge of construction technology. There are little matters such as concrete curing times, drying periods that govern just how fast you can undertake the necessary repairs. As for the ridiculous idea of temporary pontoon bridges, there is the little problem of keeping the river open for navigation and accommodating a tidal range of over seven and half metres.
From RAP on 10/03/2014 at 10:48
Keep the buses moving at least - 11 months.
From live in wands business in hammm on 26/02/2014 at 15:35
I live in Fulham with young kids at school in Wimbledon. Please be sensible and leave a bus lane open. The traffic in Fulham is ridiculous already.
From Faeth on 31/01/2014 at 21:33
I agree with lots of people who cannot believe the bridge will take so long to repair. Can't you get it done in 3months... maybe in the summer when so many people are away.

My daughter goes to Putney High school and I love walking our dog in Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common. We need that bridge!!!!

If the bridge is going to take forever to repair, I prefer the 12 month choice because at least there will be 1 lane open.


From Fulham mum on 28/01/2014 at 23:21
Granted that the bridge has been a patch affair for years - our family call it "Pot-hole-ney Bridge" but surely in 2014 our civil engineers could repair a bridge in less than 6 months? When it really matters the Japanese did something similar in 6 days following the Tsunami (see link).

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/24/japan-disaster-reconstruction-road-recovery

What is the estimated cost to businesses and residents over 6 months when compared to the cost of a rapid repair? Come on LBHF, stop playing political to secure your sacred Council Tax reduction and protect the livelihoods of thousands of Londoners who need the bridge to stay open.
From Philip Woodford on 09/01/2014 at 11:10

You might hope that the various Authorities in West London might communicate with each other. Putney Bridge to be closed at the same time that works on Hammersmith Flyover are to be resumed, hardly gives the impression of joined up thinking. Those of us in West London can expect
months of frustrating travel. G.S.
From G.S. on 06/01/2014 at 18:24
Consecutive periods of work at either end of Fulham Palace Road is a nightmare scenario. The bridge works should be carried out concurrently with the flyover works, since, whilst the bridge is closed, there wil be less traffic on FP Road and thus less disruption at its Northern end from the flyover works.
From J.R. on 23/12/2013 at 16:46
I understand that Thames Water is to blame as it is their pipes that are leaking and causing the damage.
I hope they are paying
From Sot on 20/12/2013 at 11:54
Of course the bridge needs repairing but why not within 3 months and working continuously for 24 hours 7 days a week and over the summer holidays. This ought to be a priority being a main artery into London.
From lalu Peck on 18/12/2013 at 21:43
WITH THE BRIDGE CLOSED FOR THAT LENGTH OF TIME AND THE WORKS ON HAMMERSMITH FLYOVER BEING ONGOING FULHAM RESIDENTS WILL BE MAROONED
PLEASE THINK AGAIN
From DEREK ALLSOP on 18/12/2013 at 12:16
Shock, horror! Amazing how things like this reveal how many people are totally dependent on their cars, even for the school run. Get out of your car and use the tube or walk over the bridge and use the buses. Just think how much quieter Putney High Street and Fulham Palace Road will be during the closure! I say close it completely, but not just for 6 months. Spend extra and build wider pavements with road-separated cycle lanes in each direction.
From C Lowndes on 16/12/2013 at 23:29
6 months is too long. If works are required then they have to be carried out. However they should work 24 hours a day for 3 months. 12 weeks of disruption is just about cope-able with but any more would be hellish.
From Fulham Resident on 13/12/2013 at 21:38
Can there be river crossings put. In place?
From Business owner on 13/12/2013 at 19:16
6 months is much better than 11 months! If unavoidable we rather get it done in the shortest time possible..

From Harbledown on 13/12/2013 at 18:02
I vote for neither option.

6 months would be better than 11, but this feels like we are being presented with a straw man in order to vote for the option that Wandsworth wants. I suspect Putney Bridge is not considered key to Wandsworth so they favour the cheapest option. In reality, Putney Bridge is a key London artery and so this should not just be a decision for Wandsworth. I think Wandsowth, H&F and Richmond residents deserve to see an independent report and some better options than these two.
From JS on 13/12/2013 at 16:21
It is very difficult to compare the options without more details of the contingency plans for bus routes under the 6 month scheme. With the available evidence, including the cost implications, I favour the 11 month scheme, i.e. keep the bridge open to bus traffic (and pedestrians, of course, which is implied but not explicitly stated.)
From Nicolas Fauvel on 13/12/2013 at 09:37
Please, please could this be conducted over the school summer holidays, then partial closure only for 11 months. Total closure for any amount of time is ludicrous! BOTH Wandsworth and Putney Bridge are already rammed during the school run, so I can't imagine diverting Putney traffic to Wandsworth. Partial closure would allow the buses to run so we could at least get our kids to school safely without adding connections and subsequent delays to their bus journeys. We need to think of the school children and their safety.
From LB on 10/12/2013 at 13:15
I may be wrong but I seem to remember that Putney Bridge was re-surfaced some years ago (10-15?). If that is the case, why would it need this work done now?
From stewart andersen on 10/12/2013 at 12:50
Bite the bullet and get it done ASAP. Walking over the bridge will only add 10 minutes to a journey already reduced by the (non) bridge traffic in the area. Start in April and finish in October before the usual seasonal traffic in Nov/Dec (allowing for possible over-run). This includes the school summer holidays and will be during the best (?) weather to minimize weather delays and pedestrians getting wet !! May even force people to 'shop local'. There's no easy solution and we'll all just need to be patient.
From J Delaney on 10/12/2013 at 12:42
I am in favour of the 11 month option as a total closure of the bridge is inconceivable. Fulham and the surrounding areas will be gridlocked if the bridge is totally closed. There are plenty of children who go to school in Putney and vice versa so how else will they get there without going on a totally circuitous and congested route? At the very least ensure that the work is started or carried out in the school summer holidays as the volume of traffic on the roads is less and children's education will not be disrupted. Even better would be total bridge closure for 2 months of the school summer holidays and then partial closure for the rest of the project which could hopefully reduce the 11 month timeframe.
From GW on 10/12/2013 at 09:45
Looks to me that Wandsworth Council's ideological philosophy of spending as little money as possible is what's driving this - hang the consequences to residents & businesses in H&F or anyone who needs to commute through Putney & across the bridge (both directions).
From Wilson MacD on 09/12/2013 at 21:34
I urge the responsible authorities to do more to find a way to effect the repairs which does not involve a total closure of the Bridge
From Anthony on 09/12/2013 at 18:54
could you please indicate in the document when the works are scheduled to start? Us and several family friends have committed to send their children to nursery school across Putney Bridge starting next year, so it now turns out it may actually be near impossible to bring our kids to school! Please include dates to be more specific.

I'd also second the other resident who asked why can't you make a time estimate based on 24/7 works? 6 months option is preferred but it's is going to be horrible for Fulham traffic, particularly in the mornings, as it is already quite bad.
From AG on 08/12/2013 at 12:41
1. We need more clarification on what will be able to cross the bridge for either option.
2. Shutting the bridge is going to be a complete disaster and there MUST be a way to avoid this. Surely this is a ruse to get us all on board with spending more money (and council tax raises that fund it) to avoid this doomsday scenario.
3. How on earth will people who live in Fulham and have young kids in school in Putney or Kings College Wimbledon manage this?
4. ''m sure there are more expensive options available that either minimise closure period or allow it to remain open - please can we be told of this and financial impact to us.
5. Doing work during the summer months should be obvious as traffic is lightest at this time.
6. Hammersmith flyover was rectified pretty well considering the amount of damage and work that was needed. The Olympics probably justified the spending of a lot of money and the minimising of disruption.
7. To someone else's point - why on earth is there not another bridge or tunnel in place already considering the weakness of Hammersmith Bridge as it is?

Still struggling to believe this is real.
From Paul on 06/12/2013 at 23:00
How will I get to work in Kingston?
From B on 06/12/2013 at 21:36
Cllr Botterill is right: it will cause huge inconvenience, but rather than rant, surely he should have done better to paint the true picture and, like many correspondents, opt for getting it done asap. Does he want Wandsworth residents to pay for H&F suffering? They will have enough of their own.
From Riverine on 06/12/2013 at 18:35
I agree that the contractors must be able to do it faster than six months by working 24/7 and working from both ends. Or perhaps we ought to ask Jeremy Clarkson to sort it out, after all he got road works that were due to take months finished in 24 hours.
From A Cottrell on 06/12/2013 at 18:17
Would prefer the 6 month option. Whichever option is chosen the councils effected should consider the wider picture e.g. open some of the blocked access to major alternatives (A4), re-phasing of lights to allow local traffic to merge with these routes, more restrictions/higher parking charges to deter non-residents during the period, high penalties to contractors for overrunning of work and other measures to reduce traffic.
From DB on 06/12/2013 at 18:17
Rebuild Fulham Bridge!
From Austin on 06/12/2013 at 17:44
As a resident and owner of a flat on Fulham High Street, I am dismayed to think the council would think an 11 month repair is a good idea. I would suggest the underground and district line will just about cope and hammersmith / wandsworth bridges will keep traffic moving. Why can't we get the job done in 6 months closing it entirely as either way it will be huge disruption and 11 months is ridiculous.

Why can they not do it in 3 months? Is this 24 hour building work and if not, why not? There are no residents in close enough proximity to mind them working through the night. I should know I am one of them!
From Suzanna on 06/12/2013 at 17:15
This appears to be yet another example of poor planning. Of course the bridge needs to be repaired, and one would hope as quickly as possible. That said, Fulham will become virtually land-locked as well as grid-locked. Presumably the 6 months closure option means TOTAL closure, including to pedestrians [and cyclists]? Why can't one side of the bridge be done at a time? The financial cost of the repairs is small compared to the financial costs and otherwise to the multitudes who have no choice other than to use the bridge!
From Sue, Fulham on 06/12/2013 at 16:35
This will be a disaster for Fulham. It should be made clearer that the 11 month option still does not allow cars to cross - on that basis the 6 month option will be better as buses can stop on either side of the bridge and people walk across and catch them on the other side.
From Sarah Wadham on 06/12/2013 at 16:23
I would much rather have it done as quickly as possible...
From Mathieu on 06/12/2013 at 15:50
I live in Fulham close to Putney Bridge and use the bridge everyday to reach Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. If the work is unavoidable we'll just have to grin and bear it but it will cause huge disruption. But does it really need to be six months? Does the programme allow for 24/7 working regime.
From Martin Bishop on 06/12/2013 at 15:48
Hammersmith Bridge is also weak so in order not to make this the next bridge to close due to 6 months of excess traffic why cant there be a couple (one upstream and one downstream) of Pontoon bridges constructed for the 6 months. The additional cost in the overall scheme of things shouldn't be a consideration.
From Fulham resident on 06/12/2013 at 15:48
This is quite franky really dissapoinitng news. As a user of buses, bikes and cars this crossing of the river and neighbouring Hammersmith bridge are already a nightmare and completely over-used. I understand that the work must be done, but no work should begin on this bridge until we have built another permanent crossing between Putney and Hammersmith bridge.
This extra crossing; be it tunnel or bridge is already 20 years overdue.
When work is then done to the existing Putney Birdge there must be some dramaitic improvemetns to the traffic through-flow that currently exists.
From Gilmour on 06/12/2013 at 15:40
Is there an option that cost 3M but only takes 3 months? Considering the budgets of the two councils involved, we're not talking about a lot of money. How about not reducing Council Tax again to find the excess. Sure it's not politically popular, but the relative impact on residents of a few extra pounds of Council Tax is far smaller than cutting off transport links to Putney and causing traffic mayhem for nearly a year.
From CP on 06/12/2013 at 15:33
I would prefer 6 month closure. Could there be buses that run up putney hill from the bridge? SO you can connect by walking across the bridge.
I live on Putney Hill.
From Peter Harrington on 06/12/2013 at 14:21
It would have been helpful to point out that the 11 month option only allows bus and cycle traffic to use the bridge. Not surprisingly the TfL traffic modelling therefore identifies no significant difference in the effects on LBHF traffic between the 2 options. Thus the only people for whom there is a difference between the 2 options are bus users as cyclists will be able to dismount and use the pavement for the 6 month option.
From R Hannay on 04/12/2013 at 13:42

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