Huge update on Hammersmith Bridge which has been closed for five years | UK News


Huge update on Hammersmith Bridge which has been closed for five years | UK News

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The Government has spent a total of £13 million to repair the 137-year-old bridge (Picture: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Another £2.9 million has been promised to revamp and repair Hammersmith Bridge – but only for cyclists.

The Government has spent a total of £13 million to repair the 137-year-old bridge, which has been closed to traffic for five years.

Cyclists currently have to either dismount and walk across the bridge with pedestrians or use the temporary cycle lane installed in February.

Part of the road is now set to be resurfaced, bringing it one step closer to being fully repaired.

In February the bridge was partially reopened for the first time since its closure after motorists were banned from using it over safety fears.

In 2015 the bridge used to carry 22,000 cars and 1,800 buses everyday, with 12,000 pedestrians and 4,000 cyclists also using the crossing.

Engineers found cracks in the pedestals during works in 2019, and the crossing further deteriorated during a heatwave in 2020.

Works had to be paused on the bridge after a boat became stuck beneath it in December and damaged part of the gantry.

Cycle lanes have been painted onto the bridge (Picture: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images)

It has been closed ever since, leaving Londoners desperate to be able to use the crossing again.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: ‘Today’s new funding is the latest example of the Government’s ongoing commitment to support efforts to reopen Hammersmith Bridge.

‘Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to continue to use the bridge safely, with this latest funding from Government another important step towards fully reopening the bridge for motorists and all Londoners as quickly as possible.’

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When it first closed repairs were estimated around £40 million.

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But council bosses say the true cost of restoring the bridge to full use will cost a £250 million.

The bridge was closed in 2019 (Picture: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Hammersmith and its neighbour across the river, Richmond Upon Thames, were both considering a passenger ferry service to get people across.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: ‘Hammersmith Bridge is a major regional transport asset that will cost a massive £250m to repair. This is a national and a London issue.

‘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.’

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