Doubts remain over who will cover repair costs for Hammersmith bridge

Deniz Huseyin
25 April 2024
The Grade II listed Hammersmith Bridge, which opened in 1887, was closed in 2020 after defects were found
The Grade II listed Hammersmith Bridge, which opened in 1887, was closed in 2020 after defects were found

Uncertainty remains over who will cover the £250m repair bill needed to re-open Hammersmith Bridge to cars and buses. This follows the announcement by DfT last month that it has approved £2.9m funding for new dedicated cycle lanes are to be installed across the bridge (LTT889).

The Grade II listed iron bridge, which opened across the Thames in 1887, was closed in 2020 by its owners Hammersmith and Fulham council, after the identification of micro-fractures.

It was reopened in 2021 to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic while stabilisation works were undertaken.

Since then, cyclists have been required to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge in a shared space with pedestrians. The council said it has been told by the Government to pay an “unprecedented” 33% of the estimated £250m repair bill. This would normally have been paid “in large part” by Transport for London (TfL) and the DfT, said the council. “We have made it clear we can only raise that amount of money via a road user charge or toll.”

The council told LTT that it intends for the bridge to be used again by cars and buses.

Climate change charity Possible argues that Hammersmith Bridge should remain closed to cars, with electric driverless pods introduced for people with mobility difficulties.

This would cost a fraction of the funds needed to fully reopen the bridge, said the charity.

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