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Toll proposed for Hammersmith Bridge to fund repair

  • April 25, 2023
  • 2 min read
Toll proposed for Hammersmith Bridge to fund repair

Hammersmith and Fulham council have suggested charging a toll to use Hammersmith Bridge.  This comes as Councils continue to debate how to fund its repair, estimated as costing £141m to £163m. H&F council has been informed by the government that they must pay a third of this cost.

The bridge has been closed since April 2019 following the discovery of small cracks in the cast iron structure. It is currently only open to pedestrians and cyclists. The first phase of repairs is underway, which involves stabilising micro-fractures in the pedestals.

Pressure is growing to reopen the bridge which formed a major traffic artery between south-west London boroughs and the City. Following its closure traffic has since been redirected via bridges to the west. This has resulted in increased congestion on roads including Upper Richmond Road and Putney High Street, which was recently reported the most congested road in London

There has been criticism of the council’s plan to pass the cost onto road users. Critics say it would place unwarranted financial pressures on those who need to cross the bridge several times a day. This they say would be especially tough for drivers already negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis.

“It is disgraceful that the Labour-run council is proposing a £3 charge on using the Bridge each way,” Lee Roberts, Putney’s Conservative Parliamentary spokesperson said. “Why should a parent have to pay £12 a day just to take their children to school?”

However it has been confirmed that some would be exempt from a toll. H&F residents would not be charged, but visitors would have to pay for each crossing.

Meanwhile, talks of installing a temporary crossing continue. This would place a second deck above the current surface. The original surface would be open to pedestrians and cyclists and the upper level would be for cars and buses. 

Foster + Partners,  the engineers who suggested this solution, say this would reduce costs and allow the bridge to reopen sooner. It is unclear if motorists would still have to pay a toll under this plan.

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