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Council said to have rejected makeshift crossing for motor vehicles while main Victorian structure repaired

Transport for London (TfL) is reportedly in favour of installing a temporary bridge for cyclists and walkers to provide them with a route across the Thames while Hammersmith Bridge is repaired, while rejecting an alternative proposal for a bridge for motor vehicles to be installed alongside the existing structure while works are carried out.

The Grade II listed suspension bridge, which was opened in 1887, was closed to motor vehicles in April this year after cracks were discovered in the pedestals which support it.

Since then, the bridge which links Hammersmith & Fulham on the north bank of the river with Barnes in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the south side, has only been open to cyclists and pedestrians.

New Civil Engineer reports that TfL has rejected plans to erect a £5 milllion temporary road bridge alongside it on the grounds that the proposal is unfeasible and too expensive.

The temporary bridge, which Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had said was being “seriously considered,” was proposed by engineers Beckett Rankine and supported by over 2,900 people who signed a petition.

However, it has been rejected by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, with a council spokesperson saying: “The expert advice is that this proposal is not feasible in the space available and at an affordable cost.

“We are therefore not pursuing this option. Work is already under way for the complete refurbishment of Hammersmith bridge.”

According to New Civil Engineer, TfL has appointed consultants Pell Frischmann to work on designs for a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, with three or more firms said to have put forward their ideas for a temporary structure that would enable people to cross the river by bike or on foot.

Hammersmith Bridge itself is set to be fully closed for at least three years while repair works are carried out, with the project estimated to cost £120 million.

Cycling and walking campaigners have argued that the bridge be kept open to cycle and foot traffic only on a permanent basis.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.