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Cyclists want 20mph speed limit over 'crumbling' Hammersmith Bridge

'CRUMBLING Hammersmith Bridge' has become such a danger to cyclists they are demanding a 20mph speed limit to prevent a tragic accident.
Hammersmith Bridge and the damage to the road surface, potholes, which are causing a danger for cyclists.

'CRUMBLING Hammersmith Bridge' has become such a danger to cyclists they are demanding a 20mph speed limit to prevent a tragic accident.

Pressure group Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists has collected evidence which reveals the iconic bridge is in such a state that parts of the surface move every time a car or bike passes over it.

The group says that, unless the council reduces the limit from 30mph until urgent repairs are carried out, riders are in real danger.

Chairman John Griffiths said: "The condition of the bridge has reached crisis point and something must be done, otherwise the council could be liable for a very serious accident."

However, the group’s demands have fallen on deaf ears, with the council insisting ‘there are no engineering or safety reasons’ to reduce the limit.

Pictures and video shot by Mr Griffiths, however, indicate the wooden base beneath the surface is rotten and has made the top plates unstable. Bolts also protrude at several spots where temporary repairs have been carried out, and there are several potholes.

Mr Griffiths said: “It looks as if the bridge is alive every time a car goes over one of these plates and if a cyclist got caught on one they could quite easily be catapulted into moving traffic. It is vital that, until repairs are done, motorists are slowed down at what is already a very dangerous stretch of road.”

Calls for restricted speeds have been made for some time, and reached fever pitch last year when 18-year-old student Clara Vergez was crushed against a lamppost on the bridge by oncoming traffic.

Miraculously she escaped injury, and the council rejected the calls on the grounds the traffic is mostly slow moving and travels under 20mph anyway.

But HFC says at least 15 per cent of vehicles travel at more than 25mph during the day. It is also calling for better road markings, an option being audited by Transport for London on behalf of the council.

Council transport chief Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler said: “There are no engineering or safety reasons to reduce the speed on the bridge to 20mph.

“We work closely with Hammersmith Cyclists and, following a ride with them last year, have put forward proposals to Transport for London to alter the road markings on the bridge and put in a dropped kerb on the approach to the bridge.”

She conceded the bridge needed ‘major refurbishment’ and that the authority was currently drawing up plans to do so.

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