Hammersmith Bridge has reopened to pedestrians and cyclists after 11 months. We will continue to push the Government, TFL and Hammersmith and Fulham Council to deliver a long-term solution.
The bridge has been closed for over two years to motor vehicles and a year for all traffic both over and under the bridge. Following comprehensive safety investigations, the bridge is now safe to open to pedestrians and cyclists. A temperature control system has also been introduced, which helps prevent cracking in the bridge's cast iron pedestals.
Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, has led the borough’s response to the closure and sits on the Government Task Force. He said: "This is momentous news for residents of Barnes and beyond. We have never lost sight of the massive impact that the closure of this bridge has had on the day to day lives of local residents and we have worked closely with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to get the bridge reopened as quickly as possible."
Gareth added: "Though cyclists and pedestrians can use the bridge, it still remains closed to motor vehicles including buses and we will now be pressing hard for the full repair works to commence as soon as possible. We will also be pressing ahead with securing the necessary permissions to enable a ferry service to run should the bridge be required to close at some point in the future.
"I want to pay particular tribute to the forbearance and patience of local residents during this particularly difficult time. It is to be hoped that this reopening will mark the beginning of the end of a terrible situation which has made so many people’s lives a misery."
Richmond MP Sarah Olney said: "This is hugely welcome news. The Bridge’s closure has had appalling consequences for my constituents, particularly school children who’ve been forced to take longer, more dangerous routes to school, and businesses who’ve seen their revenues shrink in the absence of vital footfall.
"However, I of course recognise that there is still work to be done. Once TfL, the Department for Transport (DfT) and LBHF agree on a funding plan for the Bridge’s long-term stabilisation, it will likely have to be closed for periods of time while permanent repairs can be made. This just underlines how important it is we get a ferry service up and running as soon as possible, and that’s why I have written to LBHF urging them to expedite the planning application for the pier.
"There are also thousands of residents across my constituency and South West London for whom vehicular transport is essential. I will therefore continue urging the three parties to work together constructively so that a funding plan for the Bridge’s long-term strengthening can be agreed on at the earliest possible opportunity. For that to happen, the DfT must be realistic with what it expects the other parties to contribute."