Updated: Nov 28, 2020
We started as a WhatsApp group of North Barnes residents and we are now campaigning for an immediate stop gap solution to the river crossing, and for full bridge repairs.
When Hammersmith Bridge closed on August 13th our group grew out of a North Barnes street Whatsapp group. The issue needed much wider representation and to be dedicated to the one issue of restoring a crossing from Barnes to Hammersmith, so the Bridge of Sorrows Whatsapp group was born. Its membership grew rapidly and a rally was held on the southside of the Bridge on the first week anniversary of the closure, on August 20th. Around 500 people attended and impact statements were prepared to illustrate how people were affected.
A second rally was held 2 weeks later on September 3rd to commemorate the first day of term for many and to highlight the immense difficulties school children were going to face. By then our name had changed to Broken Bridge Broken London. We have now chosen a final name and set up a website with the name Hammersmith Bridge SOS.
Our objectives were initially to campaign for central government to resolve the stalemate we were in locally, with no feasible crossing solution in sight. Having achieved that - Grant Shapps Secretary of State for Transport announced a Task Force on September 9th - we are now campaigning for a stop gap emergency crossing (e.g., a ferry service, or a Bailey bridge) before the end of British Summer Time, in order to safeguard school pupils and vulnerable residents.
Our second objective is to campaign for a temporary bridge crossing until the main bridge can be used.
We believe highlighting the suffering of residents by media coverage is the best way to persuade our leaders to bring an end to this deadlock. We are neutral on any particular crossing option, are non-party political, non-partisan and united in our objectives. We believe disunity and factionalism will not help a conclusion to be reached.
We represent all those affected by the impact of the bridge closure on both sides of the river and far beyond Barnes - now effectively an Island - including our neighbours in Mortlake, Sheen, Roehampton, Putney, Hammersmith, Fulham and Chiswick.
Our members include residents unable to get their children to school, who can’t reach their work, relations, friends, shops, medical care or transport hubs. We represent the many businesses whose very future now hangs in the balance, with the loss of foot fall caused by the complete bridge closure.
For many the bridge closing to vehicular traffic in 2019 was a serious inconvenience, but at least walking and cycling linked our communities. But now our part of London is divided with a 5 mile stretch of the Thames without a safe crossing.
We are campaigning to reconnect the 2 sides of the river at Hammersmith and Barnes.