By Ben Lynch, Local Democray Reporter
Hammersmith Bridge will temporarily re-open to cyclists from Tuesday for a period of around 10 weeks.
The council has installed a new two-way cycle lane on the Grade-II* listed structure, enabling those on bikes to cross without having to dismount.
Cargo bikes and e-scooters will also be permitted access, although motorbikes and mopeds have to continue using alternative routes.
Motor vehicles have been unable to use the bridge since 2019, after micro-fractures were identified in its pedestals.
It was partially reopened to pedestrians and cyclists in 2021, although since then repairs have stalled due to disputes over the funding.
The Department for Transport (DfT) wants the council and Transport for London (TfL) to pay a third of the bill each, now estimated at £250 million, with the Government to pick up the rest.
Hammersmith and Fulham submitted a business case with the Government last year, which is yet to be approved.
The council said it had expected this to be agreed before Christmas, although the DfT said it was still reviewing it to “ensure it is viable and offers value for money for taxpayers”.
The temporary cycle lane is being installed after a boat ferrying West Ham football fans towards Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage stadium damaged the bridge in December.
The council said that stabilisation works had to be paused as a result, and so while it is carrying out repairs, it is taking the opportunity to roll out the cycle lane.
Cllr Sharon Holder, Hammersmith and Fulham cabinet member for the public realm, said: “We are committed to the full re-opening of Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles including buses, and we are doing all in our powers to deliver on that commitment.
“But we are a small local authority, and we must have the financial support of the DfT and Transport for London, as well as an agreement to fund our share via a toll.”
On the suggestion it is holding up proceedings due to having not approved the council’s business case, a DfT spokeswoman said: “This claim is simply not true, we have already given nearly £10m to help restore the bridge and are reviewing the business case to ensure it is viable and offers value for money for taxpayers.”
Pictured top: Hammersmith Bridge (Picture: Google Street View)
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