Government Commits £3m for Hammersmith Bridge Cycle Lane, Repair Funding Still Outstanding

Government Commits £3m for Hammersmith Bridge Cycle Lane, Repair Funding Still Outstanding

London (Parliament News) – The UK government pledges £3m for a new cycle lane on Hammersmith Bridge, but funding for the repair remains unresolved.

The tale over the five-year closure of Hammersmith Bridge took an incredible new twist on Monday when the Government issued almost £3m for a new cycle route. This is expected to be open by November and, with the row over who bears the £250m bridge repair bill still unresolved, could stay in place for years.

According to The Standard, Transport Secretary Mark Harper insisted the Government remained determined to fully reopen the bridge, which connects Hammersmith and Barnes, to cars and buses “as soon as possible”. Cyclists have been able to swing across the bridge since February while rehabilitation under the carriageway – generated when it was hit last December by a “party boat” carrying West Ham fans – is taken out.

Will Government’s £3m Fund Prolong Bridge Closure?

This momentary cycle lane will close early next month when the restorations are completed. Cyclists will then have to retreat to pushing their bicycles across the bridge, alongside pedestrians. The new cycle route– which will command £2.9m and concerns resurfacing the bridge’s road surface – will uphold cyclists diverge from pedestrians. The Department for Transport expressed it would be a “significant upgrade” on the momentary lane in use at present.

Is the £250m Repair Bill Still Unpaid?

In a comment to the Evening Standard, Mr Harper stated Hammersmith Bridge had been a London crossroads for almost 140 years and a “crucial road artery” joining communities, businesses and tourists. He stated: “That’s why this Government is dedicated to reopening the bridge to all traffic as soon as practicable, and today’s fresh £2.9 million asset to open a new, more durable cycle lane pays testament to that commitment.

“While it’s the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham who possess the bridge and are responsible for its supervision, this latest Government funding will facilitate the resurfacing of the main bridge carriageway to present a new cycle lane, anticipated in November this year, until further maintaining work can begin.

Who Bears Responsibility for Hammersmith Bridge Repair?

“The Government has now delivered almost £13 million to support measures to restore the bridge, with today’s investment another significant step towards reopening this iconic London crossroads for motorists, bus passengers and all roadway users, as soon as possible.” The Grade II* iron bridge, which extended across the Thames in 1887, was shut on April 10, 2019, by its proprietors, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, on protection grounds after cracks were detected.

Pedestrian entrance was later reinstated but vehicles remain denied, forcing many motorists to shift via Putney or Chiswick bridges. Last week Zoe Garbett, the Green mayoral candidate, expressed the bridge was “working by accident” and should remain a pedestrian and cycle crossing, with cars always banned – a move that would keep taxpayers £250m.

Mayor Sadiq Khan desires the bridge reopened to vehicles. A draft deal would concern Transport for London, Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the Department for Transport each bearing a third of the cost of repairs – with the council recouping its claim via a toll on motorists. However, the escalating expenses may have put a full repair out of space. Greg Hands, the Minister for London and Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham stated: “This new funding demonstrates the Government is dedicated to Hammersmith Bridge. “But now the Council and TfL need to step up and get the bridge reopened to buses, cars and emergency automobiles, as they’ve repeatedly promised to do.

“It’s been five years of inactivity from Hammersmith and Fulham since the bridge was completed in 2019 and people have lost tolerance.” A spokesman for Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: “We are thankful to the DfT for the £2.9million carriageway budget and look forward to its support of our business case for the full rehabilitation of the historic bridge.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.