This week, Greg Hands MP welcomed the news that Hammersmith Bridge will finally reopen to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic.
Hammersmith Bridge, owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), has been closed for two years, leaving more than five miles of the River Thames uncrossable by motor vehicles and since last year by pedestrians and cyclists.
On 15 July, LBHF announced that the Case for the Continued Safe Operation (CCSO) of Hammersmith Bridge had given the green light to the bridge reopening.
The announcement has been welcomed by residents on both sides of the river and follows the funding agreement commitment from the Department for Transport’s Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce to permanently reopen Hammersmith Bridge, which required LBHF to verify engineer reports showing it is safe to reopen the bridge now to pedestrians and cyclists.
Though a welcome move forward, the traffic diversion in Fulham and across South West London goes on and five miles of the River Thames remains uncrossable by motor vehicles, buses and emergency services.
20,000 vehicles used Hammersmith Bridge daily prior to its closure. After the closure, but before the coronavirus pandemic, 15,000 of those vehicles are making journeys via alternative routes. The performance of the road network has deteriorated sharply. Fulham Palace Road is taking an additional 3,000 vehicles a day and Putney Bridge is taking an additional 4,000 vehicles daily.
Commenting on the announcement, Greg Hands MP said:
“Hammersmith Bridge is a vital traffic artery for all my constituents, whether they be on foot, on cycle, on public buses or in cars. Therefore, while I welcome the reopening of Hammersmith Bridge this weekend to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic, I continue to fight for the bridge to also be reopened safely at the earliest opportunity for motor vehicles including buses and emergency services.”