Repair-fund black hole closes Hammersmith Bridge | Construction News

In August, the foot and cycle access over the bridge was closed after the summer heat wave made cracks in the cast iron supports deteriorate. Because the risk is of sudden collapse, all navigation on the Thames is closed under the bridge as well. The 133-year-old cast iron suspension bridge in west London was closed to motorists in April last year after the faults were detected.

Hammersmith Bridge is an early design of suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames in west London. It links Barnes on the south side of the river to Hammersmith on the north side. It is mostly used by residents on the south side to access London, and there is no direct alternative.

A Government task force has been launched to co-ordinate the bridge rebuild which will take many years and cost around £150m. The owners are Hammersmith and Fulham Council who obviously don’t have that sort of money. Ongoing investigations have been paid for by Transport for London. Proposals for quick fix for residents include a passenger ferry, or temporary foot and cycle bridge.

None of this helps navigation. So for us there are no Pool of London Passages for the foreseeable future, and no cruise boats operating from Hampton Court to central London. And there will be no University Boat races either.

Five organisations representing recreational powered craft users on the non-tidal Thames have agreed to join forces to encourage greater engagement and co-operation with the Environment Agency who are responsible for managing the waterway.
The Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC), DBA -The Barge Association (DBA), the National Association of Boat Owners (NABO), the Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA) and the Thames MotorBoaters Association (TMBA), are all members of the Thames Navigation User Forum and specifically represent recreational powered craft owners.

There are over 8,000 recreational powered craft registered with EA Thames and, by way of registration and other charges, they collectively contribute almost £4 million of revenue income to the annual budget for the maintenance and upkeep of the river. This is by far the largest contribution from all sources other than public funding. Joint action is already in hand to address the current issues regarding continued restrictions to navigation, particularly as they affect powered craft. Further details will be circulated by the individual organisations directly to their members.

Mike Rodd
16th May 2020

On 3rd March, I represented NABO at the above Forum which brings together relevant EA personnel and representatives of a wide cross-section of users of the Thames, including the eight River User Groups (the RUGs) and many other representative groups. Chaired by the Thames Director, Julia Simpson, the very long meeting was valuable and, above all, illustrated that the new-look EA is making every effort to listen to its key river users in moving its navigational responsibilities forward over the next five years.

On Tuesday 3rd March 2020 I represented NABO at the above Forum which brings together representatives of a wide cross section of users of the Thames, including the 8 River User Groups (the RUGs) and many other representative groups, with relevant EA personnel.  Chaired by the Thames Director, Julia Simpson, the very long meeting was valuable and above all illustrated that the new-look EA is making every effort to listen to its key river users in moving its navigational responsibilities forward over the next 5 years.

On Tuesday 29th October 2019 I represented NABO at the well-attended meeting of the above Forum which brings together representatives of a wide cross section of users of the Thames, largely through the 8 River User Groups (the RUGs) and representative user groups, together with relevant EA personnel.  Chaired by EA's Thames Waterways Director, Julia Simpson, and the Waterway Manager, Barry Russell, this 5-hour meeting proved to be most valuable and it is clear that the new-look EA is making every effort to consult with to its key river users and so move its navigational responsibilities forward over the next 5 years.