On the 10th of April 2019, Hammersmith Bridge was closed due to major faults found by safety sensors. Recently, TFL announced their plans for a temporary bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to be built alongside the main bridge so that repair work can be carried out on the main bridge. To what extent will it actually help, and will it do more harm than good?

Transport for London (TFL) say the temporary bridge will maintain safe access for people getting across the river, will be installed and removed quickly, will provide step-free access via ramps at both ends of the bridge, will allow boats the same headroom as the existing bridge, and will allow the repair works on the bridge to be carried out as quickly as possible, and as safely as possible as well. TFL also say that it will not impact the environment and wildlife in the surrounding area, and would overall be a better solution than other possibilities that they have looked at, such as a temporary vehicle bridge, ferries, or having no temporary bridge at all, just keeping people on the main bridge while work is being done.

However, although this suggests that there may be benefits of the temporary bridge, some have also noticed problems with the proposals by TFL. It is argued that it will affect the environment and the river tides and TFL might better use the money to repair the main bridge faster, rather than wasting time on a temporary bridge. Also, some say that there is no point in the temporary bridge as people could walk over the main bridge while work was being done on it, and that if you are going to have a temporary bridge, you might as well have one that serves both vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. These views show that there are clearly a lot of differing opinions, and a lot for TFL and Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond Councils to make sure they get right in their proposals for a temporary bridge.

Overall, TFL say that they have looked at all possible alternatives and the consequences of each one, but they feel that their proposals are right, all considered, so we will have to see how their proposals and the future of Hammersmith Bridge pans out. Yet, in these uncertain times, amidst the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, who knows what will emerge due to measures that might have to take place.