Boat crash bill for Hammersmith Bridge is £100k – South London News

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

The cost has been revealed of the damage caused to Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge after it was hit by a boat carrying West Ham fans to a Premier League match.

The MV Emerald of London vessel crashed into Hammersmith Bridge  , as it was ferrying fans down the River Thames to Craven Cottage, Fulham FC’s stadium.

Video footage showed it wedged beneath the Victorian crossing before acknowledging defeat and turning back.

Hammersmith and Fulham council, which owns the bridge, wrote in a recent release that the gantry was severed during the incident, meaning stabilisation works on the bridge have had to be paused while the damage is repaired.

A spokesman for the council has said the cost of fixing the gantry is estimated at £100,000.

They said the local authority has no choice but to pay for the repairs to keep the project moving, though it will look to recover costs from the company that owns the boat.

This fee comes on the back of the millions the council has already sunk into the bridge, after microfractures were discovered in its pedestals in 2019.

It has been shut to motor vehicles ever since, and was only partially reopened to pedestrians and cyclists in 2021. The council said last week that a temporary cycle lane will be installed on the crossing from Today, while it completes its repairs to the gantry.

The full reopening of Hammersmith Bridge, estimated to cost £250milion, is being held up by a stalemate over funding between the council, Transport for London (TfL) and the Government.

Councillor Sharon Holder, Hammersmith and Fulham cabinet member for the public realm, said: “We are committed to the full reopening of Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles including buses, and are doing all in our powers to deliver on that commitment.

“But we are a small local authority, and we must have the financial support of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London, as well as an agreement to fund our share via a toll.”

A business case submitted with the DfT by the council last April has yet to be approved. TfL said it will support the borough in progressing their next steps.

London Party Boats, the owner of the MV Emerald of London, has yet to reply with a  comment.

Pictured top: The MV Emerald stuck at Hammersmith Bridge in December (Picture: Greg Jackson)


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