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September 14, 2020

Hammersmith Bridge Closure

We understand the bridge closure poses unprecedented travel challenges to our community. We remain in touch with Hammersmith and Fulham Council and continue to feed in to discussion with local MPs as well as working closely with a consortium of other affected local state and independent schools. We will continue to bring you updates as soon as we have them.

Update as of Thursday 5 November 2020 

The sixth meeting of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was held on Thursday 29 October. It was chaired by Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, and attendees included the Project Director Dana Skelley, Professor Norman Fleck, plus representatives from the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Richmond upon Thames; the Greater London Authority; Transport for London (TfL); and the Port of London Authority.

Dana Skelley, speaking on behalf of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, said:

  • The taskforce held another productive meeting yesterday. The group discussed the constructive Zoom meeting held with members of the public on Tuesday night and the latest thinking from the engineers.
  • This thinking focused on recent modelling and the installation of the temporary system to control the temperature of the chains on the bridge. We were also pleased to hear that several engineering reports, including Professor Norman Fleck’s, will be presented to the taskforce shortly to help inform the best way forward.

The fifth meeting which took place on 15 October also discussed the following:

  • The taskforce continues to urgently develop plans to get a temporary solution up and running for Londoners. In addition to the temporary ferry service, the group also discussed alternative options for a temporary footbridge across the river. These would be dependent on further feasibility studies and technical approvals, but there may be a more easily-constructed temporary footbridge than has previously been proposed.
  • The taskforce spent time discussing the overall project plan and discussed the assurances government would expect to see from members of the taskforce in order to unlock the next steps and press ahead.
  • In addition, the taskforce are glad to report that from Monday 2 November, the first day back after half term, the 533 bus route will run an additional bus per hour in the weekday peaks. This bus which runs from Hammersmith to Lonsdale Road, will now run every 15 minutes at all times, seven days a week.

The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was set up by the Department for Transport in September 2020 to work towards safely reopening the Hammersmith Bridge. The taskforce is chaired by Baroness Vere and includes representatives from TfL, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Network Rail, the Greater London Authority and the Port of London Authority.

The Taskforce has published a FAQ regarding the bridge closure which will be updated as further progress is made on the repair project. Further information is available here.

Update as of Monday 14 September 2020

We are in regular conversation with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, TFL and now central government as well as working closely with a consortium of other affected local state and independent schools. We will continue to bring you updates as soon as we have them.

The school is providing a free shuttle bus services for pupils and staff from Barnes Station, East Putney Tube Station, Kew Gardens and Apollo Hammersmith. We continue to review these services on a regular basis in response to parent feedback. We need to allow enough time to ensure pupils are able to get to school on time given the heavy traffic in the local area. We are also providing a security officer for each stop during the morning and evening runs. The school also continues to work with our regular school bus provider to provide a bigger fleet on our standard routes.

Transport for London is increasing the number of buses on the 533 route by one bus per hour. They also hope to change this route to a double decker service shortly. The 209 service from Hammersmith has now been diverted into additional vehicles on the 378 route from Putney Bridge to Barnes and Lonsdale Road.

The Councils Highways and Project team have informed the school they intend to start repair works to the failed sections of Hammersmith Bridge at the beginning of September. Works will include a system to keep the bridges structure at the right temperature to mitigate further cracking and patch cracked areas with carbon fibre, a process used regularly in America on bridges of this type. We do not have a clear schedule of the programme but works are anticipated to continue until at least November. We will keep you informed of updates as we have them.

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