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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Hammersmith Bridge to re-open to cyclists with temporary lanes

Cyclists will soon be able to ride their bikes across Hammersmith Bridge again.

Temporary cycle lanes will be opened on the bridge for cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters from February 13.

This means that cyclists will no longer have to dismount and walk their bikes across.

But motorbikes and mopeds will still not be allowed to use the bridge.

Marshals will be on duty 24/7 to manage traffic.

The bridge has not been open to traffic because there have been stabilisation works happening on it.

But now, because of a pause in these works, the Grade II* listed bridge will be able to accompany cyclists and free up footways for pedestrians.

The pause has come, in part, because a boat carrying West Ham United football fans to Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage damaged the bridge’s gantry in December.

This platform is generally used by maintenance workers to access the underside of the bridge so, without it, it is not possible to carry out safety checks.

While the gantry is being repaired, Hammersmith and Fulham Council has “taken the opportunity” to create the upcoming temporary cycle lanes.

They said: “Hammersmith Bridge – made out of wood and wrought iron with the suspension held in place by cast iron pedestals – is one of the world's oldest suspension bridges.

“That’s why, at £250m, it is also one of Britain's most expensive and complex to repair.

“Unfortunately, the Department for Transport (DfT) has delayed consideration of H&F’s business case for the full restoration of the bridge, which would allow full use by motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Councillor Sharon Holder said: “We are committed to the full re-opening of Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles including buses, and we are doing all in our powers to deliver on that commitment. But we are a small local authority, and we must have the financial support of the DfT and Transport for London, as well as an agreement to fund our share via a toll.”

Richmond Park MP, Sarah Olney said: “Getting a cycle lane on the bridge is a welcome step, but the fact repairs have been paused isn’t cause for celebration.

“During the 2019 election, the Conservatives committed to getting the bridge fixed, yet once the results were declared, they seemingly changed their tune.

“The Government therefore should step up, honour that commitment, fund the repairs of the bridge and end this ongoing nightmare for local residents.” Thw DfT told The Standard: “This claim is simply not true, we have already given nearly £10m to help restore the bridge and are reviewing the business case to ensure it is viable and offers value for money for taxpayers.”

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