The MP for Richmond Park has welcomed a quicker solution to the Hammersmith Bridge problem. 

The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF) has commissioned a feasibility study into a temporary bridge proposal that could allow access across Hammersmith Bridge within one year.

The design is the brainchild of Sir John Ritblat, Foster + Partners, an architectural design and engineering firm and specialist bridge engineers, COWI.

The double-decker crossing would enable pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles to cross the bridge within a year of a contractor being appointed.

This is far quicker than the estimated time of permanent repairs, which could take over six years to complete.

The 133-year-old bridge closed in August 2020 due to cracks worsening in the heatwave.

The MP for Richmond Park and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport has welcomed the news of a faster solution.

Sarah Olney said:

“The impact that the ongoing stalemate is having on my constituents is nothing short of devastating. Thousands of people have had their livelihoods severely disrupted. These are people from all walks of life; adults needing to get to work, sick people needing quick access to services and children journeying to and from school.

“At a bare minimum, the priority for a lot of my constituents is restoring access for pedestrians and cyclists. That’s why I am in support of this proposal and why I welcome the feasibility study. The prospect of travel across the river returning within a year would be a huge relief for so many people.”

The proposal would involve building a new raised truss structure, with the upper-level servicing cars and buses and the lower deck accommodating cyclists and pedestrians.

No load would be added to the existing structure, allowing engineers to remove it in stages and undertake the required repairs off-site.

The MP added:

“This proposal is not only the most workable solution but it’s also the most suitable for the needs of the local community. I therefore urge LBHF to give the proposal its full consideration and endeavour to work alongside the design team as productively and collaboratively as possible.

“Likewise, I urge the DfT – whose role as chief financier simply cannot be overstated - to release the funds necessary should its feasibility be confirmed.”