First Day of 'Carmageddon' in Fulham

Traffic builds up following closure of Wandsworth Bridge

Wandsworth Bridge closed this Monday (24 July)

July 24, 2023

This Monday (24 July) has seen Fulham having to cope with the closure of Wandsworth Bridge.

The widely predicted ‘carmageddon’ appears not to have been quite as bad as the more extreme predictions with traffic heavier than normal but broadly speaking not at unprecedented levels.

Congestion built up in the morning rush hour on Fulham High Street and New King’s Road but the latter particularly has regularly seen similar levels of traffic over recent months.

These jams lessened throughout the day although traffic continued to move slowly south on Fulham Palace Road and both ways over Putney Bridge.

Although the roads have still to deal with the evening rush hour, it is possible that the summer holidays and widespread awareness of the closures have helped to avoid total gridlock for now. The cancellation of the planned tube strikes also prevented the situation getting worse.

Wandsworth Bridge does remain open for people to cross at all times. Cyclists will have to dismount and push their bikes as the footpaths will be narrow. The latest schedule is for the work to take ten weeks.

The closure of Wandsworth Bridge makes it more difficult for borough residents to reach the Smuggler's Way waste and recycling facility in Wandsworth.

To help offer an alternative, the council has agreed with the Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) that Hammersmith & Fulham residents can use the Abbey Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre in Brent NW10. Rules for the use of this facility are provided on the WRWA web site.

Traffic has been heavy both ways over Putney Bridge

Without access to Smuggler's Way, the council has had to make minor changes to bin and recycling collection rounds. Although collection days will not change, collection times will be unaffected.

New Kings Road congested but this isn't unusual

A spokesperson for Hammersmith and Fulham Council said, “We know that the closure of Wandsworth Bridge for urgent safety repairs by Wandsworth Council will be hugely disruptive to life in South Fulham for the next 10 weeks.

" We’re doing all we can to support local businesses. We’ve introduced a new, free visitor access permit for businesses to make it easier for people from outside H&F to visit shops, businesses and friends in the area.

“We have also suspended the traffic camera in southbound Imperial Road to make it easier for visitors to get to shops and businesses in Wandsworth Bridge Road. Opening up the roads to all traffic during the closure would result in sat-nav systems re-routing drivers into residential streets and bringing gridlock. This would cause more chaos and inconvenience to residents and businesses and generate more pollution.”

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