Hammersmith Bridge closure

On 10 April 2019, Hammersmith and Fulham Council informed us that Hammersmith Bridge would be closed immediately for safety reasons, after its weekly inspection discovered micro fractures in the cast iron pedestals securing the suspension bridge.

About Hammersmith Bridge

Hammersmith Bridge is owned and maintained by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF). Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for managing bus services across the bridge.

It was built in 1887 and is one of the most loved and most photographed Thames crossings. It is a Grade II* listed structure. Because of this, both parts and tools often have to be custom made, which can be costly and take a long time to produce.

It has a very high traffic volume for its age, with more than 20,000 vehicles crossing it every day. Up until 2015, TfL was sending 100 buses an hour over the bridge. It was never designed to carry this volume and weight of traffic and the constant vibration from those vehicles damages the bridge and road surface.

Major repair works to the bridge are now required. The refurbishment work will include overall strengthening of the structure and an improved road surface.

We are working with Hammersmith and Fulham (H&F) Council and TfL to keep residents informed of impacts as a result of the closure.

 

Have your say on the bridge closure

While the responsibility for the design and delivery of the bridge refurbishment lies with H&F Council and TfL, we are asking them to consider the needs, concerns and suggestions of Richmond upon Thames residents and businesses.

Council survey

All Richmond residents and businesses are invited to take part in our survey to have their say about the impact the closure is having on their daily lives and suggestions for the future of the bridge. This survey is not a formal consultation or engagement regarding LBHF's plans for the future of its bridge, but will guide Richmond Council officers and members when discussing future plans with counterparts at LBHF and TfL.

The survey closes on Tuesday 16 July 2019.

Please note this survey is for Richmond upon Thames residents and businesses only.

Complete the survey

Transport for London buses consultation

TfL are making some changes to the local bus network to improve links for customers affected by the closure.

The consultation closes on 1 October 2019.

Have your say on the London buses consultation 

Public meeting

On Wednesday 19 June over 500 people attended a public Q & A event at St Michael and All Angels Church in Barnes. The panel included the Leader of Richmond Council, Gareth Roberts, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Stephen Cowan, Chair of Richmond Council’s Transport and Air Quality Committee, Alexander Ehmann, senior officers from Richmond Council’s Environment, Traffic and Engineering services and representatives from Transport for London (TfL)

See the presentation (pdf, 1.6 MB)

See the video of the 6.30pm session.

See the video of the 8.15pm session

Frequently asked questions

View changes to public transport

Who is responsible for the bridge?

Hammersmith Bridge is owned by H&F Council, which is solely responsible for its up-keep. Transport for London is responsible for the bus services that cross the bridge.

Why is the bridge closed?

In 2015, H&F Council began a series of thorough reviews. The scope was to check all aspects of the bridge’s structure. These weekly safety checks included using new sensor technology to assess if the stresses being imposed on the bridge were causing structural damage.

The safety checks revealed that over decades the bridge’s bearings had seized up due to corrosion. This has caused the bridge’s natural and necessary flexibility to become compromised. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in April after engineers discovered hairline micro-fractures had started to appear in the iron casings around the pedestals of the bridge.

How long will the bridge be closed for?

H&F Council's specialist engineers will have completed a full diagnosis of all aspects of the bridge’s state of health by mid-August at which point they will have a more precise understanding of the scale of the works and the timescale required.

Along with Transport for London, H&F Council will then bring forward a detailed plan of work and will be able to give a more precise timescale for the bridge’s re-opening.

At this stage, it could potentially take three years.

Who is going to pay for the work?

H&F Council is working with TfL to submit a bid to the government to fund the restoration works.

Is the bridge safe to cross? Who can use it?

The safety issues which have led to the bridge closure are due stress from the weight of vehicles on the bridge.

The bridge is currently closed to all motor vehicles including cars, vans and buses.

The pedestrian walkways are open to walkers and runners. Cyclists can use the tarmacked road and motorbikes may be wheeled, but not ridden, across the bridge.

There are currently no safety concerns for boats passing under the river. If this changes, restrictions will be communicated.

How are you managing the impacts of the closure on traffic and the environment?

TfL is providing us with regular updates on the traffic flow and volume as a result of the closure, which allows us to review traffic management plans (e.g. traffic lights) as appropriate.

We have requested mitigation funding from TfL to support traffic management and physical deterioration repairs on our roads as a result of the closure.

Any non-critical roadworks in the borough will be reviewed in consideration of the additional impact on traffic and public transport. For any emergency works, transport measures will be put in place to best ease traffic congestion.

We have a static air quality monitoring site on Castlenau (Barnes) as well as one in Teddington.

What is being done to help those impacted by the closure?

TfL has made changes to bus routes to provide alternatives routes to reach Hammersmith, or other main transport links.

We are working with local businesses and business associations to assess the impact of the closure on business.

Residents and businesses can give feedback on how the closure is impacting them through our survey. Please note this survey is not a part of H&F Council and TfL's formal planning for the future of the bridge.

What is being done to help people with mobility issues cross the bridge? E.g. a shuttle service

H&F Council and TfL are considering options to make crossing the bridge accessible for all, without using alternative routes. Measures could include a community shuttle service. Other options are also being explored and will be in place as soon as engineers confirm they are 100% confident the bridge can be used safely.

Both welcome suggestions at bridgeproject@lbhf.gov.uk.

Will Richmond residents be able to have a say on the current impacts and on the plans for the bridge?

Decisions around the future of the bridge are made by H&F Council and TfL.

Richmond Council, H&F Council and TfL are hosting a public meeting for Richmond residents on Wednesday 19 June. This meeting is to better understand the impacts of the closure on people's daily lives. Find out more information.

We are also inviting residents and businesses to take part in our survey about their usage of the bridge and the impact of the closure. We will work closely with H&F Council and TfL to make sure our resident's needs, concerns and suggestions are taken into account as they plan for process.

How will the bridge be used in the future?

Hammersmith Bridge is Grade II* listed, meaning it is a "particularly important" structure "of more than special interest". Listed structures require special consideration under the planning system, in order to protect them for future generations. Read more about Historic England Listed Buildings.

H&F Council isaiming to refurbish the bridge to full working order, but safety is always the priority. It is considering many options, including new, alternate bridges and tolling the road.

News

Updated: 20 June 2019