As much as we love the speedy Victoria line and a rowdy trip on a night bus, you can’t beat travelling across London by water. There are already plenty of ways to bob around town – Thames Clippers, the Tate boat, floating hot tubs, kayaks, paddleboards and a whole fleet of party craft – but some west London architects have proposed a new addition: a regular river service linking Hammersmith to central London.
The new ferry route is being suggested because of discussions around permanently closing Hammersmith Bridge. The132-year-old structure is currently undergoing three years of repairs after it was shut in April owing to ‘critical faults’.
Plans to build an alternative road crossing were recently rejected by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, so instead, architects at The Manser Practice have suggested that the bridge could reopen for cyclists and pedestrians only and that a ferry service from the bridge should be launched to and from central London.
What would it mean for Londoners? If the bridge did remain closed to traffic, it would reduce pollution locally and could encourage people to walk or cycle more, and enjoy the Hammersmith riverside. If you live in the area, it could give you a whole new commuting option. And if you don’t, it would make getting to west London a whole lot more fun!
Sadly, the proposals aren’t being officially submitted, and Transport for London and the council say they intend to fully reopen the bridge in the long-term, but if the designs did become a reality, we’d be first up the gangplank. All aboard!
Get to know Hammersmith’s riverside with our guide to the area’s best pubs.