As many of you know Hammersmith Bridge is a critical issue for all our Tideway clubs and events. We wanted to update you on what has been happening over the last couple of weeks.
In recent days there have been two important pieces of information that have been publicly announced.
Introduction of Traffic Lights for boats to go under the Bridge.
The potential reopening of the bridge to pedestrians.
The Notice to Mariners U3 mentions the introduction of a “bridge control lights display will have three signals status’, namely: A red X, an Amber X, and a Green arrow.”
Red X = Bridge is Closed
Amber X = Pre-booked Transit required
Green Arrow = Bridge is open.
We have asked the PLA to clarify when and how the lights will change and what warning there will be. They have confirmed to us that potentially the lights may change at any point, meaning that you may be stuck on the wrong side of the bridge. We recommend that you plan in advance the risk of going through the bridge and the potential for the sign to be red or amber on your return.
Reopening of the bridge
There was an article in the Evening Standard that mentioned the potential of the bridge reopening to pedestrians in the summer. This is faster than expected and very good news as this may mean the planned ferry is no longer required.
However as an organisation we still have to plan for the possibility of there being a ferry.
On this front we have been speaking with TFL and the PLA about the impact the ferry will have on clubs and events in the region.
In our discussions with TFL, their working assumption is that Hammersmith Bridge will be open to river traffic whilst the ferry is operational. This has already highlighted a number of challenges and issues that may occur in the future with regards to rowing boats navigating through the bridge and through a ferry crossing. These potential challenges will be part of the navigational risk assessment that will have to be put forward during the planning application for the piers. We have had a discussion with the consultants responsible for putting together the risk assessment.
For events we have been given clarity, any event wishing to run through Hammersmith Bridge will require a river closure to stop the ferry from operating.
With regards to Harrods Wharf, we’d like to thank the clubs, events and members who have submitted objections to these plans. The TRRC also submitted an objection to these plans. At the moment the application is still to be assessed by Richmond Council. We would ask clubs and members to continue to apply pressure to ensure that the plans are rejected now that TFL has announced the locations of their piers.
Whilst it is inevitable that there will be some impact on rowing as a result of the ferry proposals the engagement with all involved has been excellent and we are optimistic that we can find a solution that will be sympathetic to rowing in Barne Elms Reach.