A new, permanent bridge could be built near Hammersmith Bridge while it is being repaired, a town hall leader has said.
Hammersmith and Fulham council leader Stephen Cowan made the surprising announcement on Wednesday at a highly anticipated public meeting that has already been watched nearly 900 times on YouTube.
He also reported back on the first meeting of the government’s newly-created Task Force, led by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, which has taken over the project of fixing the 133-year-old, grade II*-listed landmark.
During the meeting, Mr Cowan said: “We’re also talking about maybe another cycling and road bridge.
“The danger of the temporary bridge is that I think in some ways a temporary bridge is extremely unhelpful, because we have had all sorts of people mooting it and it has misdirected the conversation nationally in many ways.
“We are looking at other sites around Hammersmith and Fulham and Barnes where we can put a suitable river crossing and that might be more cost effective than a temporary bridge, which comes out at £27.3 million, but some of that (cost) includes having to dismantle the bridge when you put it in place.
“So we (the Task Force) have agreed to scope that out, and we had some jokes about a garden bridge which I don’t think were very helpful, but that is one of the things the Task Force will be looking at.”
Ferry services are on the cards to cross the river.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s chief officer for public realm, Bram Kainth, said “landing points” with pontoons and temporary structures will need to be created, but in a way that would not be “constrained by tidal flows”.
Planning permission and consent from the Environment Agency and Port of London Authority would be needed, as well as from parties who own land on the river banks.
It has yet to be decided whether the ferries would charge passengers or be free to use, and whether they would be restricted to school children, key workers or disabled people, Mr Kainth said.
Pictured top: Hammersmith Bridge
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