Close Hammersmith Bridge To Cars Forever Says Climate Charity

Putting forward proposals for future of the bridge

New visualisations of how the bridge might work to be displayed

A climate charity is proposing that any attempt to reopen Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles be abandoned and that access is confined to pedestrians and cyclist.

A Bridging the Future event is being held by Possible this Saturday (9 April) at Old Essex House, Station Road, SW13 0LW - in between Essex House and Essex Lodge while the Barnes Farmers Market is taking place.

The intention is to give a presentation on the plan and gather feedback from local residents

The group points out that the bridge was never designed to carry motor traffic and due its listed status and Victorian construction and materials, it became the most expensive bridge in Britain to fix. The row between the local council, the London Mayor and the government over who should pay the full cost of the £150 million repair remains unresolved despite agreement being reached on the first phase.

The group’s vision for the bridge will be exhibited through a display of architectural visualisations, and showing them an array of bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters, a city bike taxi shuttle and even an autonomous pod that could be used as alternative travel options.

Leo Murray of Possible says ,“All the rhetoric from the government and Hammersmith and Fulham Council is about re-opening the bridge to traffic, but what if there was another way?

“If we want to achieve net-zero targets we have no choice but to use our cars much less than we do today. The closure of Hammersmith Bridge is an opportunity to look at things differently. Studies carried out before the pandemic showed that after the bridge’s closure 20% of the traffic that had been carried over Hammersmith bridge just evaporated. Some was diverted over other bridges but some people just stopped driving. I believe that this evaporation would only have increased over time although the impacts of the pandemic and WFH make this very difficult to measure.

“We understand that people hate to give up using their cars so our approach is not to lecture but to show that the alternatives can be better.”

The charity hopes to bring along an actual autonomous pod to show residents what could be running across the bridge. The BCA cycle shuttle will also be there on the day and offering rides around Barnes.

Possible says that its aim is to share its vision with the Government’s bridge Task Force and that after its community engagement programme in Barnes it will submit its report to Hammersmith & Fulham Council, The Department for Transport and the Greater London Assembly.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council, TfL and the government remain committed to reopening the bridge to motor traffic and many local residents, who say they have experience significantly increased traffic near their homes are hoping the reopening comes as quickly as possible. The closure has caused traffic issues in other parts of south west London including on Putney High Street and some dispute that any traffic evaporation has taken place. Others however, have benefitted from quieter streets and would like to see the closure being made permanent.

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April 8, 2022