On 9 September, the government announced a task force to consider the stabilisation and repair of Hammersmith Bridge. It is also looking at short-term options including a ferry and a temporary bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
The task force was welcomed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council as an indication that the government would now work with them towards urgent action.
There have been three meetings of the task force, chaired by Transport Minister Baroness Vere, and including representatives from Transport for London, the Department of Transport, the Port of London Authority and the London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Hammersmith & Fulham.
After the most recent meeting, the task force project manager Dana Skelley said: “The task force is making progress on the next steps for the Hammersmith Bridge. In particular, the task force agreed a ferry service across the river would be the preferred transport solution to deliver a crossing for residents in the short-term and we are working quickly to have a service in place by early next year.
“All other potential solutions, including a temporary bridge, remain under consideration to ensure the fastest possible resolution for those impacted by the closure of the bridge.”
According to Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s proposals for repairing the bridge, it will cost £46million to stabilise it, which will make it safe for pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic. That work can be completed within nine months. It will cost between £141m and £163million to fully restore the bridge so it can be reopened to buses and motor vehicles – a similar amount to building a new bridge. A temporary bridge suitable for pedestrians and cyclists would cost £27.3million and take nine months to build but wouldn’t solve the problems for river traffic.