Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Hammersmith Bridge closed after ‘critical faults’ found

Hammersmith Bridge spans the Thames in west London Photo: PA

A historic bridge in west London has been closed to traffic after “critical faults” were discovered in the structure.

Hammersmith Bridge, which opened in 1887, closed on Wednesday over safety concerns.

Cyclists and pedestrians can still use the Grade II* listed bridge but it will be closed to motorists “indefinitely”, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham said.

The council blamed Government cuts for the closure.

The bridge was packed with spectators during last weekend's boat race. Credit: PA

A statement said: “We have a fully tested plan to refurbish the bridge and we’re ready to start work. But, due to government budget cuts, Transport for London (TfL) says it can no longer fund the planned refurbishment. This is a huge disappointment.

“Regrettably, we’ve now been left with no option but to close the bridge indefinitely until the refurbishment costs can be met.

“So we’re supporting TfL’s call for the Government to invest in this vital river crossing and national monument – so we can get on with the work and reopen the bridge.”

The bridge after repairs in 1952 Credit: Barratts/S&G Barratts/EMPICS Archive

The issues were discovered during a weekly safety check carried out by the council, which said diversions are in place for buses and other traffic.

The bridge has been closed several times in recent years because of structural issues. Since 2015 only one bus in each direction at a time has been allowed across it.

Although funding the maintenance of the bridge is not TfL’s responsibility, we are working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to identify a final plan for upgrading their bridge.

We are also ready to support them in identifying the necessary funding for this work. Keeping local authority infrastructure in good condition is essential to ensure the wider road network stays safe and productive and helps the economy grow.

We need the certainty of a long-term steady and sustained funding arrangement to allow London to cover the costs of its own infrastructure maintenance.

– Transport for London spokesperson