Making the best of it

Since Hammersmith Bridge was closed to traffic, the powers that be at Hammersmith & Fulham, Richmond and Transport for London haven't been sitting still. They and others have taken action, or are making plans to make the best of the situation.

Changes to bus routes

On 18th May, TfL made changes to the bus routes affected by the closure of the bridge.

  • Routes 33, 72, 209, 419, and 485 run on shortened or altered routes
  • They introduced a new route – the 533 – which runs between Barnes and Hammersmith via Chiswick Bridge
  • They increased the frequency of route 265 between Roehampton and Putney Bridge station (there is no change to the frequency between Tolworth and Roehampton)
  • Route 609 no longer runs, having been withdrawn when the bridge was closed
Changes to bus routes following the closure of Hammersmith Bridge

Download a PDF of these changes

However, these changes haven't pleased everyone - in fact, most residents are very annoyed by them. In particular, the removal of the 72 south of the river, and the redirection of the 209 to Putney Bridge, have caused a lot of anger.

UPDATE 16th July 2019: TfL have now announced further changes to bus routes. The one that will please most people is that the 209 will return to its old route (terminating at Hammersmith Bridge) from 3rd August. Details are here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/permanent-bus-changes

You can comment on changes to bus routes at: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/hammersmith-bridge/

Improved lighting

The walk across the bridge from Hammersmith Station to the bus stops in Castelnau (or vice versa) can be quite pleasant in the daytime, but at night it can be dark and, for some, a bit unnerving.

To address this, LBHF have installed new LED lighting, to illuminate the length of the bridge in an energy efficient way - although, the fact that the lights are on 24 hours a day doesn't seem all that energy efficient.

New LED lighting on Hammersmith Bridge

New LED lighting on Hammersmith Bridge

Electric buggy shuttle service

At a Q&A meeting held in Barnes on 19th July, Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham said that they are hoping to set up a shuttle service using electric buggies to transport people across the bridge. This would be a great help to those less able to make the 10 minute walk between the bus stop in Castelnau and Hammersmith Station.

They have faced problems in finding suitable vehicles, because these are in short supply. There aren't many in the country, the ones that are here are used heavily throughout the summer, and they are only manufactured by two firms in the UK.

Nevertheless, they hope to start the service in early or mid July.

UPDATE 29th July 2019: the Barnes Community Association report that their e-pedal taxi service is now up and running. Read more

Emergency services

One worry has been that the lack of a route across the bridge, as well as increased congestion in the area, might prevent people from reaching hospital in an emergency.

LBHF are working to allow ambulances across the bridge again. They say that ambulances will be the first type of vehicle to be allowed over the bridge, once it can be opened to any motorised vehicles at all.

However, it is interested to note that the emergency services say they don't think response times have been affected by the closure of the bridge to traffic.

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