Hammersmith Bridge will reopen to cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters on Tuesday, 13 February.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) has 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 ten weeks.

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

Motorbikes and mopeds are not allowed on the bridge, and marshals will be on duty 24/7 to manage traffic.

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

Completion of stabilisation had to be suspended due to the requirement for some refabricated steel plates for the pedestals. At the same time, 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 under the bridge. This platform is required for maintenance workers to access the bridge’s underside.

The gantry is now being repaired, and the new steel plates are being fabricated. Until those works are completed and stabilisation can resume, we have created 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.

Hammersmith Bridge – made out of wood and wrought iron with suspension held in place by cast iron pedestals – is one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges.

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 complete restoration of the bridge, which would allow full use by motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

It was submitted to the DfT last year and was expected to be agreed on 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 reopening 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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