Hammersmith Bridge turned red in stunt by fed-up residents

Hammersmith Bridge turned red in stunt by fed-up residents

A London bridge which has been closed for six months over safety concerns has been illuminated red in protest at delays to its repair.

The 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge was shut to all traffic in August when cracks in the structure worsened during a heat wave.

Organisers of the stunt said they created the “Valentine’s Day card” to “draw attention” to the issue.

A feasibility study into a temporary solution is expected “in weeks”.

Motorists were stopped from using the west London crossing in April 2019 before it was closed to all users last year.

As well as turning the structure red, a message reading “Broken Hearts. Broken Promises. Broken Lives. Broken Bridge.” was projected onto the suspension towers.

Organisers said it was directed at Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader Stephen Cowan.

Helen Pennant-Rea, chairwoman of the Hammersmith Bridge SOS Residents’ Group, said the stunt was intended as a “fun and entertaining way to draw attention to what remains a serious issue”.

“It is a great shame that we need to raise further attention to the complete inability of politicians from all parties to find a satisfactory solution, to proceed with the funding and works to repair Hammersmith Bridge,” she said.

The special taskforce was set up last September by the Department for Transport to work with bodies like Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Transport for London to carry out repairs and organise a temporary crossing.

At a meeting on 4 February, project director Dana Skelley said a “feasibility study” commissioned to look at a “temporary bridge proposal” was expected “to be completed in the next three weeks”.

The three shortlisted bidders for running a temporary ferry service will also be revealed “in the next few weeks”.

The taskforce previously said it was aiming to start the ferry crossings in the spring.

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