DfT trickles out cash for Hammersmith Bridge fix


The Government has given Hammersmith and Fulham council nearly £3m to provide a new cycle lane on Hammersmith Bridge but funding for a £250m permanent repair appears to have stalled.

The bridge was shut in 2019 following the discovery of cracks in its pedestals and re-opened to cyclists and pedestrians and for river traffic to pass underneath in 2021.

It was then hit by a boat in February, after which the council, which owns the bridge and is responsible for its maintenance, installed a temporary cycle lane and paused stabilisation works until May.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said new resurfacing works will provide a significant upgrade on the temporary cycle lane and that when it is completed in November, cyclists will no longer have to dismount from their bikes and use the separate footpath.

It said its latest £2.9m contribution takes its total funding to almost £13m, ‘as ministers continue to work closely with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Transport for London (TfL) to fully re-open the bridge to traffic as soon as possible, subject to costs’.

Transport secretary Mark Harper described the cash as ‘the latest example of the Government’s ongoing commitment to support efforts to re-open Hammersmith Bridge’ and ‘another important step towards fully re-opening the bridge for motorists and all Londoners as quickly as possible’.

In January the council said the cost of a permanent repair had risen to £250m and that despite an agreement for the cost to be shared between the DfT, itself and TfL, its business case, submitted in December 2022, was still awaiting approval.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are grateful to the DfT for the £2.9m carriageway funding and look forward to its approval of our business case for the full restoration of the historic bridge.’

Climate campaign group Possible has been campaigning for the bridge to remain closed to motor traffic. Co-director Leo Murray said: 'This fantastic news is the first sign of reality dawning on the political debate around the future of Hammersmith Bridge, and politicians embracing a positive vision for this crossing.

'Now we need politicians to focus on bringing forward a realistic solution for those who cannot easily walk or cycle over the bridge, and there are viable solutions for this too.'

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