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While motorists and bus riders will grumble, cyclists and pedestrians may well celebrate that Hammersmith Bridge is currently all theirs.
The 132-year-old crossing has been closed to motor vehicles with immediate and indefinite effect, due to ‘critical faults’, Hammersmith and Fulham Council has announced.
Never built to withstand modern traffic (and if you’ve ever seen the underside of the bridge rattle like it does, you’ll know this) Hammersmith Bridge has been subject to a one-way system for buses since 2015. The plan was to develop a longer-term strengthening plan, although according to the council, TfL has now said it can no longer fund such at plan at present.
The council cited the news as a ‘huge disappointment,’ adding “We’re supporting TfL’s call for the government to invest in this vital river crossing and national monument — so we can get on with the work and reopen the bridge.”
A TfL spokesperson told Londonist:
Although funding the maintenance of the bridge is not TfL’s responsibility, we are working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to identify a final plan for upgrading their bridge. We are also ready to support them in identifying the necessary funding for this work… We need the certainty of a long-term steady and sustained funding arrangement to allow London to cover the costs of its own infrastructure maintenance.
Diversions for motorists and those using any of the seven bus routes that cross the bridge, are available on the TfL website. If your mode of getting around is pedal power or Shanks’s pony, though, here’s a golden opportunity to enjoy the striking beauty of Joseph Bazalgette’s masterpiece, minus the roar of traffic and choking pollution.
Last Updated 11 April 2019