Temporary cycle lanes across Hammersmith Bridge open

Hammersmith Bridge has temporarily re-opened to cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters.

The new temporary two-way central cycle lane across Hammersmith Bridge

Hammersmith Bridge has temporarily re-opened to cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters.

We’ve created a new two-way central lane across the bridge to allow greater access to residents, visitors and businesses on both sides of the river. Spanning three metres wide, the cycle lane is likely to remain open for around 10 weeks.

This means that cyclists will no longer have to dismount and walk their bikes across, which frees up the footways for pedestrians.   

Motorbikes and mopeds will not be allowed to use the bridge and marshals are on duty 24/7 to handle traffic management.

The decision to repair and reopen the carriageway comes because of a pause in stabilisation works on the Grade II* listed bridge.

West Ham boat damaged bridge

Completion of stabilisation had to be suspended due to the requirement for some refabricated steel plates for the pedestals, while damage caused to the bridge’s gantry by a boat carrying football fans has made it difficult to carry out safety checks.

The accident in December caused significant damage to the bridge. A boat carrying West Ham United football fans to Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage severed the 130-metre-long steel gantry running under the bridge. This platform is required for maintenance workers to access the underside of the bridge.

The gantry is now being repaired and the new steel plates being fabricated. Until those works are completed and stabilisation can resume, we have taken the opportunity to create a temporary central cycle lane on the bridge.

The final stage of the stabilisation project is the jacking up of the four corner pedestals to enable the replacement of the bridge’s bearings.

Following that, H&F will review e-mobility options to shuttle residents across the bridge, notably the elderly or Disabled, subject to a 1.5-tonne weight limit imposed by safety experts.

Funding delay

Hammersmith Bridge – made out of wood and wrought iron with the suspension held in place by cast iron pedestals – is one of the world's oldest suspension bridges. That’s why, at £250m, it is also one of Britain's most expensive and complex to repair.

The BBC has called it “a key bit of national infrastructure in a global city.” Unfortunately, the Department for Transport (DfT) has delayed consideration of H&F’s business case for the full restoration of the bridge, which would allow full use by motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

It was submitted to the DfT last year and had been expected to be agreed before Christmas.

Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, said: “Hammersmith Bridge is a major regional transport asset that will cost a massive £250m to repair. This is a national and a London issue with most users of the bridge coming from south London and the A3 corridor. Fixing this historic bridge requires the support of both national and regional government.

“We are committed to the full re-opening of Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles including buses, and we are doing all in our powers to deliver on that commitment. But we are a small local authority, and we must have the financial support of the DfT and Transport for London, as well as an agreement to fund our share via a toll.”

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