Hammersmith Bridge Closure
Hammersmith Bridge is now closed to traffic ‘indefinitely’. The BCA is working with the Council, TfL and our local MP to influence plans for the future of the bridge and the impact of its closure. We hope to have a clear understanding of what will happen to the bridge in the next few months and will keep you posted.
We know the closure of the bridge is having a major impact on Barnes residents, particularly those who rely on services in Hammersmith. We are particularly concerned about elderly and disabled residents who currently struggle to get to Hammersmith. We are also aware that, at the same time, there are some Barnes residents who don’t need to cross the bridge and who are enjoying the quiet streets and pollution free environment.
The BCA is looking at both practical and creative solutions to get people over the bridge and deal with the congestion caused by the diverted traffic. This issue was discussed at recent Environment Group and Trustees meetings and, as a result of these discussions, we are particularly focussing our attention on a number of issues:
· We would like to see Santander Cycles, TfL’s bike hire network, being extended into Barnes and the introduction of other dockless bike operators
· We have asked TfL and the Council to look at the phasing of traffic lights at all major junctions
· We are exploring opportunities for an e-pedal taxi service to help residents, especially those who are less mobile, to cross the bridge. We are working with a local provider called Ginger and are hoping to trial a pedal taxi service within the next few months
· We have asked TfL to look the possibility of a shuttle service between Hammersmith Bridge and the tube.
We know the bridge closure has had a negative impact on roads in the wider area and residents of neighbouring communities, mainly Mortlake and Putney, are having to cope with even worse congestion than usual. We do believe this will get better with time as studies show traffic evaporation takes place in the wider area whenever local through-routes are restricted. This is also evident during the last long term closure of Hammersmith Bridge back in the 1990s, when some drivers switched to other modes of transport and some gave up non-essential car trips. This might take a few months but we are confident we will all see congestion level coming down in the next few months.
At the end of the day we have to live with the bridge closure. There may even be a silver lining. With the inconvenience comes an opportunity to look again at how we all travel and, if possible, to get out more on foot, or maybe even by bike. Barnes may also benefit from reduced traffic pollution and even perhaps an increase in the numbers of residents using local shops.
New bus changes have been announced - see here for information