Hammersmith Bridge has been closed to motorists for a while now, and the future of the crossing has been looking pretty uncertain. But though on Time Out we reported recently that it looked like the London bridge may never reopen to cars, it’ll very soon open to other forms of traffic.
So, what’s happening? Well, Hammersmith and Fulham Council has actually announced that the crossing will reopen, but only to cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters. Hammersmith Bridge will reopen from Tuesday February 13, with temporary cycle lanes marked so that cyclists can cross the bridge, alongside pedestrians, without having to dismount.
As for a full repair of the bridge? Well, that’s currently on hold. TfL and the Department for Transport are arguing over who needs to cover the rest of the enormous (£250 million) costs, while the situation has been made worse by the bridge’s gantry (which is a platform used by repair workers to access the underside) being ruined back in December by a boat ferrying some West Ham fans towards Fulham.
This pause in the repairs is good news for cyclists at least, allowing for them to use the entire width of the bridge. We don’t know how long the cycle lanes will be in place, but we do know that there’ll be marshals there around the clock to manage and monitor them.
The halt in repairs has hardly halted arguments over their cost. Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park, told the Standard: ‘Getting a cycle lane on the bridge is a welcome step, but the fact the repairs have been paused isn’t a cause for celebration.’
Keen to find out why the funding for fixing Hammersmith Bridge is so contentious? Take a look our overview of the situation here.
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