Confusion Reigns Over Cracks in Putney Bridge

Each council says the other is responsible for investigating issue

Cracks appearing on structure of Putney Bridge
Cracks appearing on structure of Putney Bridge. Picture: Philip Carr


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Both Wandsworth and Hammersmith & Fulham Councils are refusing to accept responsibility for cracks that have appeared on Putney Bridge.

The issue was first highlighted to use by Philip Carr who runs a building firm in Fulham. He became concerned about the structural integrity of the bridge when he spotted the cracks and took a number of photos.

He said, “It’s obvious this has been a long term problem but the buttresses are fairly new and are failing. I’ve reported this to both H&F and Wandsworth councils. It’s obvious there’s some structural movement going on.

The Grade II listed bridge was opened in 1886 and had £1.5million worth of repairs undertaken in 2014. Its Victorian features were refurbished and repairs were made to protect it against water penetration. A new road surface was laid and drainage systems were upgraded.

The buttressing is moving away from the main structure
The buttressing is moving away from the main structure. Picture: Philip Carr

We initially raised the issue with Wandsworth Council and were told that this section of the bridge was part of Bishop’s Walk and came under the auspices of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF).

When we contacted LBHF, they told us that maintenance of the bridge was down to Wandsworth and the matter should be raised with them. It was pointed out that Wandsworth were saying the opposite and the LBHF spokesman said he would consult with colleagues but we have yet to hear back.

Significant movement is visible on the Fulham side. Picture: Philip Carr

The bridge is owned and maintained by Wandsworth but what appears to be in dispute between the two councils is whether the buttressing and the brickwork around the walkway on the Fulham side is an integral part of the structure.

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September 10, 2021

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