The lance has been dug for a ferry across the Thames at Hammersmith.
Following the reopening of the bridge to pedestrians and cyclists in July, the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce decided to shelve proposals to link Hammersmith and Barnes by boat.
The ferry proposal was at an advanced stage, with an Uber boat being chosen by Thames Clippers to run the service – which took 90 seconds and cost £1.55 a trip – and built temporary piers on both sides of the river. Scheme applications were submitted for
But Transport Minister Baroness Vere said the task force – which includes the government, Transport for London and Hammersmith and Fulham Council – decided on Wednesday to halt the ferry proposals.
He said this was after a “positive update” on the council’s plans to work on and strengthen the 134-year-old cast iron structure.
She tweeted: “The bridge remains open to pedestrians + cyclists and it is clear that a ferry service is very unlikely to be needed. Hence the confirmation of TfL’s decision to discontinue preparations for the ferry service at this time.” was done.”
However, there is no money for a complete repair of the bridge and residents of Barnes fear that it will be cut off from central London if it has to be closed once again for additional work.
The bridge was first closed to motorists in April 2019, and then to pedestrians and cyclists in August 2020, amid fears that it was at risk of collapse.
After some repairs, engineers decided that the bridge’s structure was stable enough to allow people to cross it on foot or by bike – effectively removing the need for the ferry, which had been delayed for almost a year.
TfL stated that the taskforce was “working together to agree a funding package for the complete repair” and that the repairs “did not require any significant closure of the bridge”.
The bill to fully restore the bridge to enable it to carry vehicles was previously estimated at £141m.
A TfL spokesperson said: “After a review of whether the proposed floating yacht was still necessary, the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce agreed that the service was no longer required.
“We will continue to work closely with the government and council to ensure that people can continue to cross the river in Hammersmith.”
A spokesman for Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce agreed that a ferry service is no longer required that Hammersmith and Fulham are able to reopen the Hammersmith Bridge to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic. “