- New structure would maintain link for 16,000 people currently using Hammersmith Bridge while vital repairs take place
- Temporary bridge will speed up repairs to crossing that is more than 130 years old
- Subject to planning permission, work on the temporary bridge is expected to start in the summer
- Funding from Government required to bring original bridge back into full use
West London residents are being asked for their views on a temporary walking and cycling bridge that would allow the Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge, built in 1887, to fully shut for essential repairs.
Hammersmith Bridge is a strategically significant asset that, before it was restricted to pedestrians and cyclists in April 2019, carried 22,000 vehicles a day and 24,000 bus passengers.
Its closure to vehicles has caused significant congestion in the local area and on other Thames bridges, as well as disruption to those using public transport. It is essential it is brought back into full use as soon as possible.
A temporary pedestrian and cycle bridge is required to ensure access is maintained for the 16,000 people currently crossing the river on foot or by bike every day and would simplify and speed up the repairs of the main bridge.
The temporary bridge being proposed is a prefabricated steel structure, supported by two piers in the river. The bridge would be step free and have a 5.5-metre-wide space for pedestrians and cyclists. It 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.
Following engagement with residents, a planning application to both Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond Councils will be submitted. Subject to the planning process, works should begin in the summer, with the opening of the temporary bridge expected this coming winter.
TfL has committed £25m towards the projected costs of the restoration of the bridge and installation of a temporary bridge. This contribution has funded early investigations, the initial feasibility, monitoring and concept design work, and it is expected to be sufficient to cover the cost of a temporary bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Hammersmith Bridge is a vital crossing and we are determined to see it brought back into use as soon as possible.
“This temporary crossing – which would be built by TfL – would ensure Londoners can continue to travel across the Thames on foot or by bike, while essential repairs are carried out to restore the original bridge. 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.”
David Rowe, TfL’s Head of Major Projects Sponsorship, said: “Hammersmith Bridge is a vital river crossing that many people use to access the Tube, businesses need to thrive and is fundamental to local residents when going about their day-to-day lives. Its closure to vehicles has caused severe disruption and congestion, not just in the local area but at other bridges in the vicinity. The construction of a temporary bridge will help bring back this celebrated piece of engineering to its original Victorian splendour and ensure maximum connectivity as quickly as possible.”
Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, said: “We’re working at pace to restore our iconic 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge. A temporary bridge across the Thames would keep pedestrians and cyclists on the move, as well as help us complete the restoration as quickly and safely as possible. Now we’re joining with TfL to call on the Government to help fund the full restoration of the bridge.”
To finance the full restoration of the bridge, TfL and Hammersmith Fulham Council have submitted a bid to the Department for Transport. The bid has widespread support amongst politicians and other key community representatives.