Council Likely To Back Plan To Close Putney Bridge For Six Months

With a projected cost of £1.5 million


Take part in our readers' poll:

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A report* by the Director of Environment and Community Services on the refurbishment of Putney Bridge, has found in favour of a full closure of the bridge for 6 months opposed to an 11 month partial closure at a cost of £1.85 million. (Partial closure would allow buses and cyclists to share one 3 metre traffic lane).

The funding secured for the project secured from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the London Bridges Engineering Group (LoBEG) (£1.05 million and £300,000 respectively) to carry out the refurbishment works with matched funding of £150,000 from the Council, only covers the costs of the full 6 month closure - there would be a shortfall of at least £0.35m if partial closure was chosen.

It is proposed that at least one footway would remain open at all times to facilitate pedestrians. Cyclists will also be able to dismount and use the footway to cross the bridge.

This decision will not be welcomed by key stakeholders including London Buses, TfL, and the neighbouring London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. London Buses have advised that a full bridge closure will adversely affect their service delivery and operations out of Putney Bus Garage on Chelverton Road and therefore they would object to this proposal. TfL Network Management team have indicated that they would support London Buses’ position if they are confirmed.

Prudential RideLondon also propose to use Putney Bridge on their planned August 2014 cycle race route and therefore they advise that a full bridge closure will adversely affect their route and have requested that accommodations for the cycle race be included within the
Council’s works contract.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has written to request that the bridge is kept open during the Wimbledon Tennis fortnight commencing 23rd June 2014. However, the director's report states: " it is worth noting that visitors to the AELTC during the Wimbledon championships have the opportunity to use public Putney Bridge transport to attend the event and should be encouraged to use such means of travel".

The bridge, which is a Grade II listed structure, was last refurbished in 1995. An average of just under 14,000 vehicles cross it during the day time with over a thousand vehicles going both north and south during the morning rush hour.

The carriageway and underlying waterproofing system on Putney Bridge have been found to be beyond their service life. Detailed design of measures to address this has been carried out, which involves removing and replacing the waterproofing system and carriageway surfacing,
together with associated drainage work and repairs to other elements of the structure.

The report states that TfL have undertaken traffic modelling based on the proposals and advise that traffic conditions will be consistent under both options of full bridge closure and
partial bridge closure. The Director of Environment and Community Services therefore states that the "disruption to the local and general traffic will be extended by 5 months if the works are undertaken under a partial bridge closure" plus it would cost at least £0.35m more.

In September, Transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: "Unfortunately there is no way around this problem. The repairs do need to be carried out so our main focus will be to ensure that they can be completed as quickly as possible and cause the least amount of disruption."

* The report will be presented to the Strategic Planning & Transportation Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 19th November and to the Executive Committee on 25th November 2013.

November 14, 2013