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A new idea for Hammersmith bridge emerged today as council chiefs rejected calls to build a temporary road crossing.
Architects at The Manser Practice proposed keeping the bridge closed to vehicles — but open to cyclists and pedestrians — and launching a ferry service to and from central London.
It came as Hammersmith and Fulham council said an alternative plan to build a £5 million road crossing in three months while the main bridge was undergoing three years of repairs was “not feasible”.
The Manser Practice, based in Hammersmith Bridge Road, said most of its 40 staff were in favour of the bridge remaining closed to traffic. It said this would reduce pollution and encourage people to walk or cycle more.
It has produced sketches showing how a cycle lane could be built on the bridge and its pontoons used for a ferry service.
Sophie Moore, senior designer at Manser, said: “With a bit of thought, it could be a definite option. They have Clipper terminals up and down the Thames. It’s good to encourage people to use public transport, and in a fun way. We don’t have the solution but hopefully something like this will spark interest and conversation.”
The 132-year-old bridge, which links Hammersmith and Barnes, was closed to drivers by the council in April when safety sensors detected “critical faults”.
It has remained open to cyclists and pedestrians but buses and cars are diverted via Chiswick and Putney bridges. Transport for London and the council insist their long-term aim is to fully reopen the bridge to traffic.
Marine consulting engineers Beckett Rankine last week suggested a temporary bridge after the total cost of fixing the Grade II* listed, council-owned crossing was estimated at £120 million, with no obvious source of funds.
Labour-run Hammersmith and Fulham today told the Standard that the Beckett Rankine proposal, involving sinking piles into the river bed and potentially having to purchase properties near the new route, was a non-starter.
A spokesman said: “The expert advice is that this proposal is not feasible in the space available and at an affordable cost. We are therefore not pursuing this option. Work is already under way for the complete refurbishment of Hammersmith bridge.”
Fresh idea floated for Hammersmith bridge as temporary crossing is sunk | London Evening Standard
The latest headlines in your inbox A new idea for Hammersmith bridge emerged today as council chiefs rejected calls to build a temporary road crossing. Architects at The Manser Practice proposed keeping the bridge closed to vehicles — but open to cyclists and pedestrians — and launching a ferry service to and from central London…. [Read More]