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Member of Parliament for Richmond Park and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for transport and climate change.

Constituent Assistance

Reaching out to your representatives

  • What is the latest update?
    For those who have not been able to attend the Bridge information events held earlier this week, the double-decker proposal involves the creation of a temporary roadway through the existing arches, with a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists underneath. With this in place, the existing bridge can be removed to be repaired off-site. The temporary bridge will be manufactured offsite in sections, with pieces fitting together in 15-metre increments before being pushed out into the river. This will mean that there will be a 3-4 month period where it is not possible to exit Riverview Gardens by turning left onto Castelnau, however, after this, I have been reassured full access will be restored. If you would like a detailed description of how the temporary bridge will be erected, I would urge you to reach out to their team with the details at the end of this FAQ. During my most recent meeting with the bridge team, we covered a number of points which you can find below: Noise: Instead of machinery operating at the bridge for an extended period, in this plan, work will be limited to erecting the temporary bridge and removing and replacing the original structure. For this reason, once it begins, work onsite is predicted to be a matter of months rather than years. Due to work being conducted offsite, this solution is significantly less disturbing than other options. Workers will not use pneumatic equipment to pin the pieces of the bridge together and once the temporary bridge is in place and the original structure removed, there will be no heavy equipment in place. Cycling: During our meeting, we discussed protections for cyclists and pedestrians. While the current plans make no mention of a protected cycle route, when I raised the point, I was glad to hear that the team will consider a protected cycle lane within the walkway. They have argued that the current stumbling block to this is that there is not enough space for both a two-way cycle path and a pedestrian route, however, I am not entirely convinced about this point. If the road above is wide enough to carry two lanes of traffic, I believe the lower deck should be able to carry 2 cycle lanes and a footpath as well. While it is likely that cyclists will need to dismount when entering and exiting the bridge, I am hopeful there will be a way to cross in the walkway while mounted. For anyone who wishes to cross on the upper roadway, there will be no restrictions in place for cyclists. Bus Routes: I was very pleased to hear that the temporary bridge will be able to hold all forms of single-decker buses currently operated by TfL. This includes the heavy electric and hydrogen models in the fleet. Additionally, multiple buses will be able to cross simultaneously, although they will need to wait for each other at ‘pinch points’ in the arches as they have always done. When the bridge first closed, I conducted a survey during which, I discovered that around 90% of residents want the repaired bridge to carry buses. Due to this, I have made returning public transport to the crossing a focal part of my calls to the government. Air quality: I understand many people are concerned about the quality of the air under the roadway. I was interested to hear that given the roadway will be a solid barrier, pedestrians, and cyclists underneath it will actually be further away from the source of emissions than a person walking along a busy high street. Work still needs to be undertaken to explore this aspect and I hope extensive modelling will be done to reassure bridge users; however, I am tentatively hopeful this will not be a significant issue. Safety: When I raised the issue of safety on the bridge, especially at night, I was relieved to hear that the walkway will be well-lit by lights incorporated within the handrail and will be fully accessible to emergency services and their equipment should a medical emergency take place. Timeframe: While procurement and planning are not within Foster and Partners or Cowi’s control and they could not comment on the subject, it is likely to be around 2 years before the strengthening works can commence if the planning application is started soon. It will then take several months to fabricate the truss and put it in place. After this point, the full refurbishment could take around 3 years. My best estimate would be that the strengthening works will finally be completed in about 5 or 6 years. While the temporary bridge will mean we should be able to cross freely in around half that time, it will still be several years before cars and buses are able to cross. If you have any questions about the design, I would urge you to contact the Bridge restoration team directly either by email at or by phone on 020 3900 3676.
  • What is this new proposal for a temporary deck above the bridge deck?
    In November 2020 Hammersmith and Fulham unveiled a new plan, designed by Foster + Partners and COWI, to build a temporary deck above the existing deck, which would be used by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles while the main deck in being repaired. This is an exciting proposal that would solve a number of problems. It could also be operational within one year of a contractor being appointed and planning permission granted. In February 2021, Hammersmith and Fulham ordered a feasibility study into it, conducted jointly by Foster + Partners and COWI, which concluded that such a design was indeed feasible using the existing bridge foundations. In October 2022, Hammersmith and Fulham Council selected this solution as their preferred option for the Hammersmith Bridge strengthening works. They are likely to apply for planning permission by the spring of 2023, with work commencing on resource procurement soon after if permission is granted.
  • Instead of fixing the old bridge, wouldn’t it be better, quicker and cheaper to replace it with a new bridge?"
    In September 2021 I met with Historic England to find out more about the Bridge’s Grade II* listed status. Overall I was reassured to hear that they have and continue to be constructive and collaborative partners in the pursuit of a long-term solution. While these are no doubt extraordinary circumstances and the Bridge is an aging structure, they are clear that from a technical standpoint, they have no reason to believe that it cannot take modern traffic patterns. Rather, it is a case of ensuring the Bridge is repaired in the correct way, technically-speaking, and that enough money is assigned to repair it. They also explained that on the question of destroying the Bridge and constructing a new one, the financial cost would be the same.
  • Will there be a toll on the bridge when it reopens?
    Yes. In October 2022, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) decided that their portion of the cost of the strengthening works (likely to be between £40 and £60 million) would be recovered via a toll or road user charge on the reopened bridge. While no fixed sum has been announced, it seems likely that this charge will be around £3. Emergency vehicles, buses, cyclists and pedestrians are all likely to be exempt from the fee, and it is possible that electric vehicles and hybrids will pay a reduced rate.
  • Can the army be drafted in to build an emergency bridge?
    Richmond Council and I wrote to the Ministry of Defence, Royal Engineers and REME in September and we are yet to receive a response despite chasing for one. We can only assume they are leaving the project in the hands of the Department for Transport who have now set up a dedicated taskforce.
  • Where can I find the latest news from the Hammersmith Bridge taskforce?
    You can find the latest news from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham here: In addition, I send out regular Hammersmith Bridge updates whenever I have news to share with the community. You can sign up to recieve these updates by emailing
  • Are you a member of the taskforce and if not, who is representing the needs of Barnes and Sheen residents?"
    No Members of Parliament were invited to be part of the taskforce. Our representative in those forums is Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of the London Borough of Richmond. You can contact him via:
  • Can we get better lighting through Dukes Meadow on the other side of Barnes Bridge?
    I wrote to Steve Curran, Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, on the matter as Dukes Meadow resides in Chiswick. Hounslow Council have now shared safe route guidance which you can find here:
  • What about improving cycling and pedestrian safety from Barnes to Putney Bridge?
    Richmond Council has confirmed it will roll-out a series of safety measures to provide assurance to residents as the days get shorter. Measures include:​ Parkguard patrols on Hammersmith to Putney Thames towpath Surface upgrades to towpath on Putney and Barnes sides of the bridge Wayfinding lighting ​The Council will put in place four Parkguard marshals on bikes who will patrol the towpath between Hammersmith Bridge and Beverley Brook from 3-7pm on weekdays. Marshals on the Thames towpath will be DBS checked and able to administer first aid. They will be recognisable by high-visibility clothing, which will carry Richmond Council and Parkguard branding. Remedial works are planned to improve the gravel surface of the towpath for pedestrians and cyclists. The Council also intends to trial ground-level LED lighting to improve wayfinding along the towpath at the points where the path is closest to the riverbank.
  • There simply aren’t enough 533 services. What is TfL doing to increase the number? Or can they make them double-deckers to increase capacity?
    In July 2021 there was a change to the 533 bus route. Specifically, the now operates from Hammersmith lower bus station, which TfL hopes will effectively ‘simplify’ the route, reduce its end-to-end running time and improve its overall reliability. The new route will omit certain stops in Chiswick, which TfL feels is sufficiently served by other routes, and should further improve its run time. These changes were originally proposed to take effect from late-August but, given the disruption people have been experiencing, TfL and Metroline brought them in sooner. These changes are of a temporary nature and TfL have assured me that they will continue to review their position on the service, including the frequency and stops. They are keen to assess the new service pattern before making any more changes, and therefore will be keeping the new arrangements for the time being.
  • Why can’t the 378 be diverted up Lonsdale Road and down Castelnau?
    This would add a considerable extra length to the 378 and so require extra resources (additional buses and drivers) to run. It would also add a significant journey time for through passengers between Mortlake and Putney Bridge.
  • Why can’t the 22 route be extended to North Barnes?
    This option has been looked at again by TfL and it is not practicable, even as a short-term measure. This is due to the extra buses and drivers needed and the additional length of time onto the bus route.
  • Could we have a dedicated school service from Chiswick Train Station?
    This would be very difficult to operate and time, and TfL would not be able to justify more than a single vehicle which would be an infrequent service. They would recommend instead to go two stops to Kew Bridge from where there are two bus routes 267 and 391 giving a high frequency bus link to Hammersmith.
  • How can I feedback my views on the buses to TfL?
    You can contact TfL directly via the following webpage:
  • What were the results of your recent Bridge Survey?
    Thank you to everyone who completed my recent survey. Over 2300 residents from across the borough responded with nearly half (48%) coming from the significantly affected Barnes area. Key findings from the survey showed that:​ 71% of respondents stated their lives had been negatively impacted by the bridge closure. The main changes to people’s lives has been changes in travel routes (61% driving routes, 56% public transport routes) and where they shop (41%). 93% of respondents want some form of motorised transport over the bridge whether that be just buses or buses and cars. The need for motorised travel was driven by older respondents who may be less able to use forms of active travel An overwhelming 88% of respondents believe the Government should fund the bridge repairs These results clearly show the huge effect the Hammersmith Bridge closure has had on residents. It has led to significantly longer journey times, increased local congestion and a devastating impact on local businesses.
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