Cyclist Access to Hammersmith Bridge Set to End

Stabilisation work resuming at the end of the month

Signs notifying cyclists of the forthcoming restrictions. Picture:

May 10, 2024

The temporary two-way cycle lane across Hammersmith Bridge is to be removed at the end of May.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has announced that it plans to resume stabilisation works on Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge on Tuesday 28 May.

Cyclists will still be able to cross the bridge by dismounting and walking their bikes across on the footpaths.

The Department of Transport (DfT) previously confirmed that funding has been released for a resurfacing of the bridge which will allow full access for cyclists to resume but this may now not occur until next year.

The next stage of the stabilisation of the 136-year-old suspension bridge will see the replacement of the bearings that have seized up. Hydraulic jacks will lift the bridge off its pedestals to allow the new rubber bearings to be installed.

Engineers will also reinstall steel plates on the pedestals with a crane. It is hoped that this project will be completed before the end of the year.

The work will require several 24-hour weekend closures of the bridge to pedestrians while the bearings replacement takes place.

Completion of stabilisation had to be suspended due to the requirement for some refabricated steel plates for the pedestals, while damage caused to the bridge’s gantry by a boat carrying West Ham football fans has made it difficult to carry out safety checks. The gantry is expected to be repaired by the end of May enabling safety checks to recommence.

The gantry on Hammersmith Bridge. Picture: H&F Council

The completion of this phase of the work will allow repairs to the carriageway and the council is also considering review e-mobility options to shuttle residents across the bridge, including older and disabled people, subject to a 1.5-tonne vehicle weight limit.

The council says it remains committed to a full reopening of the bridge to all motor traffic and is blaming the DfT for the failure to make progress. The borough’s case for the full restoration of the bridge was formally submitted to the DfT one year ago and had been expected to be agreed before Christmas and then again in the New Year. However, the council says it was dropped from the agenda for both investment board meetings due to issues within the DfT.

Transport Minister Mr Merriman has defended the government’s delay in reviewing the proposals saying, "It's a very complex and challenging one, and also particularly because it’s not an asset that's owned by Government, it’s owned by the borough. But it’s obviously important we look at the strengthening proposals with governance and oversight and ensure what’s being proposed actually works and it can be funded."

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