Friday, 30 December 2011

Hammersmith flyover to remain closed next week

I've just had the following confirmation from TfL that the traffic gridlock in Hammersmith caused by the closure of the flyover is set to continue throughout next week. What that means is despite H&F Council harrumphing about the "urgent" need for "solutions" to the "disaster" of the closure to local people and the local economy, TfL are set to keep the road closed well into the start of the working week of January.

Here's what Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said today:
“Our team continues to work night and day alongside the world’s leading structural engineers to fully understand the extent of the flyover’s structural problems. I have been inside the flyover and seen for myself the unique issues we face. 

“Safety must be our top priority and we have not taken the decision to close the flyover lightly. However, we are working flat-out to determine what measures we must put in place to safely reopen the flyover as soon as possible. Also, to ensure we can strengthen the structure and extend its life over the longer-term. 

“In the meantime, drivers are strongly advised to avoid the area if they can or allow more time for their journeys. I apologise for the disruption, but assure Londoners we are doing all we can to reopen the flyover and to minimise the disruption the closure is causing.”
Deputy Leader of H&F Council Nick Botterill is far from impressed. He has said:
“We want to get to the bottom of what is happening, as it is simply inconceivable that the main route into and out of London in the west remains closed and may not even reopen in time for the end of the holidays.

“We are in continuous contact with TfL’s most senior officials, as well as the engineers on the ground, and are demanding that we get real answers to our questions about what is happening, why the closure is necessary and when this problem will be solved. We have written to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Mayor of London about this, and Peter Hendy, commissioner of Transport for London, has already agreed to meet us early next week to explain what the problem is and how it will be resolved. We need action - and quickly.

“The closure is a disaster for local residents, motorists and the borough’s economy, and this council will do everything in its power to mitigate any further adverse impact a continued closure will have.”
Saturday UPDATE - The Head of TfL, Peter Hendy, has responded to Cllr Botterill, with the news that a lack of waterproofing meant that water damaged the steel cables, which in turn rendered the bridge potentially unsafe. It is expected to open during the second week of January. You can read the full email on the H&F Conservatives blog here - and well done to the Council for at least getting the Head Honcho's attention and personal commitment.


  1. Just got emailed this:

    Dear Mr XXXXX,

    I am writing to let you know that the Hammersmith flyover remains closed in both directions for urgent structural repairs. The damage has been caused by water leaking into the structure, including salt water due to de icing salt laid during the winter months, which has corroded and weakened the cables that help support the flyover.

    Whilst traffic is being diverted through Hammersmith town centre, all buses that serve the area may suffer long delays. You may have to wait longer for your bus on any part of the route and you should allow more time for your journey.

    We are doing everything we can to minimise delays but some buses may stop short of Hammersmith, so please check the destination on the front of the bus.

    If your journey is short and you are able to walk to your destination, you may find this quicker than using the buses. For a walking map from Hammersmith please click here

    Safety is our top priority and we are working flat out, including inside the structure, to assess and put in place a solution that will enable us to open the flyover as soon as possible and to identify the best long term solution.

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter Bradley
    Head of Consultation and Engagement Centre

  2. (although, I have to add: If you use the 266 route, you'll already be well acquainted with "long delays" - something of a watchword for that route. I think it's almost impossible for it to get any worse than it already is.)

  3. Basically, it's forked. Think radically and knock it down.

  4. All you petrol heads, time to get on your bikes?

  5. Aye. Knock it down. Make the Cromwell Road fit for humans again.

    Crossrail will anyway hugely increase public transport capacity into central London from the M4 corridor. Hammersmith flyover is an anachronism from the sixties. Cities should be designed for people, not motor traffic.

  6. Agree, knock it down, turn the road from Hammersmith to Chiswick roundabout into a boulevard with slower speeds and surface level crossings to the river: see our borough blossom!

  7. I really do hope that TfL have a radical rethink on this. At the moment the aim seems to be to patch it up in time for the Olympics and then keep it going for 10 years, no doubt to allow those in decision making roles time to retire!

    We have far too much non essential traffic coming in to London, as the poster above said, it's time to liberate west London from what are essentially motorways cutting us off from the river.

  8. Well, judging by the state of the concrete elevated section of the M4 (when looking up from the A4 below) at exposed cables etc, it may well be that a radical plan for road access to west London may indeed be required in the coming years. I know it may not be the same structural problem as the Hammersmith flyover section, but it doesn't look too healthy!

  9. interesting that councillors want it open despite the potential threat of death to car owners (ie the more wealthy)