Claims Sands End restrictions not responsible for local gridlock
Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) is blaming the late completion of roadworks on Wandsworth Bridge for the current high levels of traffic around Fulham.
It says that Wandsworth Council had given assurances that work on resurfacing the bridge, which has more than halved its capacity, would have been completed by now. In mid-July, Wandsworth Council said that the road surface work would last "around two months”.
However, the council has now been told that work on the bridge will continue at least until mid-November as Wandsworth Council continues to carry out repairs.
The ongoing work - which has seen four lanes reduced to two - has reduced the capacity of the bridge from 4,500 vehicles per hour to 2,000 vehicles per hour.
For vehicles travelling south on Wandsworth Bridge Road the resulting congestion is leading to tailbacks into Fulham with gridlock blocking off access from side streets, as well as causing increased congestion in both directions.
On the southside of the bridge traffic is building up heading north towards the bridge on Trinity Road and Swandon Way coming into the Wandsworth Roundabout.
The council claims that disruption the flow of traffic over Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Vauxhall bridges is the primary reason for the problems in Fulham and not the access restrictions implemented around Sands End and elsewhere.
Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F's Cabinet Member for the Environment, said, “This has been a long-standing problem but has been made worse in the last two months by a triple whammy of bridge closures.
“The problems that residents are facing stem from the gridlock of traffic on the south of the river at the Wandsworth roundabout – not from the recently-introduced SW6 traffic reduction scheme on the east side of Wandsworth Bridge Road.
“Unfortunately, the partial closure of Wandsworth Bridge is funnelling nearly 40,000 drivers a day into two lanes instead of four. On top of this, the significant and unexpected full closure of Vauxhall Bridge is diverting around 70,000 drivers a day to Wandsworth and other bridges. The knock-on effect of the closure of Hammersmith Bridge to pedestrians and cyclists is also leading more people to drive.
"We understood that the situation would improve in early October with Wandsworth Bridge returning to four lanes. It is disappointing that delays with Wandsworth's work means the bridge is now not likely to open until mid-November, when Vauxhall Bridge is also due to reopen.
“Our data and live traffic cameras show that this has particularly affected residents in Wandsworth Bridge Road and several streets to the west. We have great sympathy with their plight.”
September 30, 2020