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Cygnet Rowing Club
on the Tideway since 1890
CSSC Sports and Leisure

Hammersmith Bridge reopens

30th July 2021

From the PLA:

"You'll be pleased to know that from tomorrow (Friday 16th July) Hammersmith bridge will be going to a green arrow as per NtM U4 of 2021. Please can you let clubs know and ask them to take care as we return to normal operations. As previously transit through the bridge is at their own risk and if the light changes to red they'll be stuck until the bridge reopens."

In summary;

  • The bridge control lights display two signals; green arrow and a red X
  • The green arrow means the bridge is open and there are no restrictions
  • The red X means that the bridge is closed to all traffic
  • If the signal changes to a Red X when any vessel is approaching the bridge, it should abort its transit and await further instruction from London VTS

The closed arch sign has also been removed over the Surrey arch (#3) but apparently the banner is still in place. The banner can be ignored as it is not a recognised navigation sign and all crews should navigate in the vicinity of Hammersmith Bridge in accordance with the Tideway Code.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have also stated the bridge will be open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Hammersmith Bridge to re-open to pedestrians and cyclists this weekend | LBHF

Can I reiterate the comments from the PLA: When navigating please keep a very good lookout. Crews will be navigating reaches of the Tideway they haven't visited in a very long time and need to avoid shallows and other hazards.


Antony Reynolds • Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

With Hammersmith Bridge open, I know we have all got questions about it staying open. The PLA have answered some questions put to them:

The "traffic light" is very difficult to see what colour is showing from the inshore zone. If the light does go red can crews phone London VTS if they don't have a radio?
We will adjust the brightness of the light and see if that makes any difference, failing that we will ask the Council to adjust its positioning. Yes crews can call London VTS in the event of an alarm triggering a Red X.

    Can we expect the lights to change according to conditions/weather/etc.?
    The lights will predominantly remain green, the only factor that would cause a red X is the indication of multiple alarms on the bridge, which would also cause a full evacuation of pedestrians. Obviously we cannot guarantee the lights remain green but there are very few factors that would cause a red x without prior notification

      Do we have any insight into what will be the critical characteristics (temperature, etc.) that will affect the bridge/light status?
      As above - we are not privy to the alarm characteristics but the likelihood of an alarm is low enough to allow pedestrians to cross the bridge, which take longer to clear in the event of an evacuation.

        Should we expect planned/extended closures for maintenance and/or repairs? and if so is there a schedule yet?

        We are not yet aware of the maintenance plan but are working with the Council. When we become aware of dates we will notify by NTM as we do for any other works / bridge on the Thames

          Assuming the lights are going to change on a fairly regular basis will anyone maintain an online status checker so people can see status of the bridge being open/closed before travelling or an outing?
          The idea is not to have a constantly changing state of open or closed. The aim is to keep the bridge open.

            Any idea what this news does to the ferry plans?
            We are working with TFL and the Council on the next steps if at all required.