Cost savings on stabilisation will not necessarily remove need to charge drivers
Hammersmith & Fulham residents would be exempt from the toll
A toll could still be introduced on Hammersmith Bridge when it eventually reopens to traffic.
Work will begin this month to stabilise the historic bridge nearly three years after it first cracked in April 2019.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council recently announced specialist engineers Mott MacDonald could save the taxpayer £21 million thanks to their new plans for the bridge. The council expects the bridge repairs to now cost £8.9million.
But the bridge may still be shut to vehicles until 2027, and when it does reopen some drivers may have to pay a £3 toll – despite the much cheaper new design.
Plans for a toll were first discussed in February 2021 when the council predicted fixing the bridge could cost £163million. Now the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands drivers may still be charged to use the bridge.
Up until April 2019, Hammersmith Bridge carried 22,000 vehicles a day. The toll would not charge Hammersmith and Fulham residents, but visitors would have to pay each time they crossed the bridge.
A consultation was launched last summer to see how effective a toll would be and whether it would raise enough money.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council are expected to foot the bill for the new stabilisation works on the bridge but it is believed that the Department for Transport and Transport for London will reimburse the council.
Hammersmith Bridge reopened to pedestrians and cyclists on 17 July, 2021, with an air conditioning system preventing the cast iron from cracking further.
Now contractors will fill the bridge’s pedestals with concrete and install steel frames around them to reinforce the historic crossing. Cranes will be set up at each end of the bridge to help move the huge steel structures. While the works are taking place, cyclists will have to dismount and walk over the bridge instead.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council have announced the project will be completed by contractors FM Conway, who were recently tasked with building the Marble Arch Mound.
Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter
February 15, 2022
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