Hammersmith Bridge reopens to cyclists

Image above: London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman crosses Hammersmith Bridge on his bike

Cyclists, cargo bikes and e-scooters can now cross Hammersmith Bridge for ten weeks

Cyclists, cargo bike and e-scooter users got together on Sunday (18 February) to celebrate their ability to cross Hammersmith Bridge once more. The bridge was reopened to cyclists on Tuesday 13 February, allowing them to use its new two-way central lane.

Among those enjoying the event was broadcaster Jeremy Vine, who ceremonially cut a red ribbon to declare the lane open.

Image above: Jeremy Vine declaring the cycle lane open

The newly constructed three-meter-wide cycle lane is expected to remain accessible for approximately 10 weeks. This development eliminates the need for cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge, thereby freeing up footways for pedestrians.

While motorbikes and mopeds remain prohibited, marshals will be on duty 24/7 to manage traffic flow.

Image above: The Chiswick contingent setting off from Old Market Place to join in the ceremonial opening 

Hammersmith & Fulham Council said the decision to repair and reopen the carriageway is due to a pause in stabilisation works on the Grade II* listed bridge. Delays in stabilisation arose due to the need for prefabricated steel plates for the pedestals and damage sustained by the bridge’s gantry from a recent boat accident involving football fans.

The incident in December caused significant damage to the bridge, as a boat carrying West Ham United football fans to Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage severed the 130-metre-long steel gantry crucial for maintenance workers’ access to the bridge’s underside.

While repairs are underway, the Council seized the opportunity to establish a temporary central cycle lane on the bridge.

Image above: Lovely day for a cycle

Subsequent phases of the stabilisation project involve lifting the four corner pedestals to replace the bridge’s bearings. Following completion, H&F will explore e-mobility options to assist residents, particularly the elderly or disabled, subject to safety weight limits.

Hammersmith Bridge, an architectural marvel made of wood, wrought iron, and cast iron pedestals, is one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges. Its repair cost of £250 million makes it one of Britain’s most expensive and intricate projects.

“The future”, reaction to bridge’s reopening

Will Norman, London’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said on Twitter:

“Good to see @LBHF reopen Hammersmith Bridge to cycles and cargo bikes. The bridge had to be closed after being hit by a boat of West Ham fans on route to Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage, damaging the steel gantry running under the bridge.”

Other groups and individuals posted their joy at the bridge reopening, some of which are below:

 

Above: Tweets from people crossing the newly opened bridge.

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