16 June2012

A case for 20mph on Hammersmith Bridge

On 2 June 2012 fifty cyclists demonstrated for a 20mph speed limit and safer conditions on Hammersmith Bridge. This was in response to an accident a week earlier when Clara Vergez had been pinned against the wall of the bridge by a car. Fortunately she escaped physical injury.

A year ago we carried out a survey of over 200 cyclists who use the bridge. 92% found crossing the bridge very scary or sometimes very scary. It is not pleasant to approach one the narrow parts of the bridge with a fast moving car
bearing down on you. According to Rule 163 of the Highway Code there is not enough room for a vehicle to overtake a cyclist safely on parts of the bridge

I am sure pedestrians using the footways would also appreciate any measures that would encourage a cyclist to use the carriageway of the bridge.

We welcome Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler to her new Cabinet post in charge of transport. She is quoted in the Chronicle of 8 June 2012 as saying that vehicles rarely travel at more than 20mph on the bridge. If this is so putting a 20mph limit on the bridge would hardly cause any inconvenience to drivers. However we are both working from the same figures that come from the Department for Transport. These show that 15% of southbound vehicles are doing more than 30mph at all times outside the evening peak.

Tower Bridge has a 20mph speed limit. Hammersmith Bridge is venerable and old. It is time our bridge had a 20mph speed limit and restrictions on overtaking cyclists.

Please look at the background to our case for a making the bridge a safer place for cyclists and more pleasant for pedestrians at www.hfcyclists.org.uk/bridge.htm .

John Griffiths
Chair hfcyclists, local branch of the London Cycling Campaign
122c Edith Road, West Kensington
020 7371 1290 / 07789 095 748