Updated: Aug 10, 2021
On 17 July 2021 Hammersmith Bridge reopened to pedestrians and cyclists after 337 days!
This was absolutely amazing news, especially coming as it did out of the blue with only about a day's notice given by Hammersmith & Fulham. See the statement from Stephen Cowan and LBH&F here
HammersmithBridgeSOS obviously welcomes this development as the first successful step in our campaign to see 'this historic bridge ... repaired and brought back to its full functionality', but... with the funding for repair STILL not in place this could be a short-lived respite:
In a letter sent to Grant Shapps, Baroness Charlotte Vere, Sadiq Khan, Stephen Cowan, and Gareth Roberts HammersmithBridgeSOS asked for reassurances that the Govt and LBH&F will continue to work to an agreement on this and fulfil their joint commitments to undertake a full repair of the bridge as soon as possible:
"There was much celebration on both sides of the Bridge on the morning of Saturday 17 July 2021, when Hammersmith Bridge was re-opened to pedestrians and cyclists. That hundreds of people queued up to cross the bridge that morning is testament to how much it means to the community and there have been many messages of pure delight at, for example, being able to commute to work in ten minutes, or get to the hospital in fifteen minutes. It also seems that the traffic congestion around the alternative bridges is easing a little as those people who were forced into their cars to cross the river are once again able to walk across.
On behalf of the HammersmithBridgeSOS Steering Group and the wider community, I would like to express our grateful thanks to you for enabling this to happen. We are incredibly pleased to have the two communities of Hammersmith and Barnes re-joined, and I think it would be hard to find a single person who is not delighted. We appreciate that there has been much work by engineers and others to get us to this stage and we would like to thank all those involved in making the re-opening possible.
It has been a long year for very many people and I, for one, will not forget the many stories of real hardship that I have heard during the year. This makes it all the more important that the Bridge does not close again and we are conscious that engineers have consistently maintained that the Bridge cannot remain open to pedestrians indefinitely without a full repair. In addition, it is the stated policy of all the authorities involved that the Bridge should be fully repaired in a way that makes it secure for the foreseeable future.
We hope that the planning for the full repair will be conducted with sufficient transparency that this Steering Group, and the wider community, can be assured the work is going ahead to secure the Bridge’s long-term future. Given that it seems highly likely that the Bridge will again be closed at intervals for such repair, we also hope that the necessary planning applications for the ferry will be granted now so that there will be no delay to the ferry’s operating when it is needed.
The Steering Group regards this as Stage One in the process and, as I said, we are very grateful that the Bridge has been partially re-opened, while recognising that there are many stages to come before we can be fully confident that it will remain open permanently.
We would be grateful for your confirmation as to the next steps"
Chair, HammersmithBridgeSOS Steering Group