A temporary crossing at Hammersmith Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians has been suggested by TfL.
Built in 1887, the west London bridge was closed to motorists and buses in April 2019, owing to substantial repair work required. A temporary bridge alongside the old one, says TfL, will help 'speed up' repairs to the Victorian crossing. Planning permission pending, TfL would start building the bridge this summer, and open it in winter 2020. Before that, it's asking residents for their feedback.
The step-free prefabricated steel structure would offer a 5.5 metre-wide surface to the 16,000 pedestrians and cyclists currently using the old bridge each day. The bridge would be accessed by shallow ramps from Queen Caroline Street on the north bank and from close to the junction of Castelnau and Riverview Gardens on the south bank.
Says Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: "We are keen to hear residents' views on these proposals and hope work on this temporary bridge will begin this summer, should all the necessary consents be granted."
Until last year, Hammersmith Bridge was carrying 22,000 vehicles a day — including 24,000 bus passengers — and the council has pledged that the bridge will be open to motor traffic again by 2022. TfL itself is keen not to 'lose' the bridge,
It's not all that simple though: TfL and Hammersmith and Fulham Council say they don't have the funds to repair Hammersmith Bridge, and have submitted a bid to the Department for Transport for more cash.
And not everyone wants Hammersmith Bridge to open to motor vehicles again. Some claim that the closure of the bridge has had a beneficial impact on air quality in the area.