As H&F Council dismisses suggestion for £5 million temporary solution
The architectural and design practice has produced drawings showing the bridge closed to traffic but open to cyclists and pedestrians, with new landscaping and pontoons with steps down to meet the Thames Clipper service, which could then take passengers into Central London.
At present, the Clipper service extends only as far as Putney.
The practice, whose offices are in Bridge Studios in Hammersmith Bridge Road, says most of its 40 staff are in favour of the bridge remaining closed to traffic.
It says this proposal would reduce pollution and encourage people to walk or cycle more.
Sophie Moore, senior designer at Manser, said: "With a bit of thought, it could be a definite option. They have Clipper terminals up and down the Thames. It’s good to encourage people to use public transport, and in a fun way.
"We don’t have the solution but hopefully something like this will spark interest and conversation."
The practice's ingenious new solution for the 132 year-old bridge, which has been closed to cars and buses since April, comes after H&F Council dismissed a proposal from Marine consulting engineers Beckett Rankine to create a temporary bridge.
The engineers claimed it would cost just £5 million and could be constructed in three months.
However an H&F council spokesman told The Evening Standard that the plan, involving sinking piles into the river bed and potentially having to purchase properties near the new route, was a non-starter.
A spokesman said: "The expert advice is that this proposal is not feasible in the space available and at an affordable cost. We are therefore not pursuing this option.
"Work is already under way for the complete refurbishment of Hammersmith bridge."
This was confirmed this week by trade publication New Civil Engineer, which said: "Work to repair fractures cast iron pedestals supporting Hammersmith Bridge’s chain saddles starts today."
The sudden closure of the bridge after safety sensors detected 'critical faults' and the subsequent travel problems, including diversions for buses and cars to Chiswick and Putney Bridges has proved highly controversial, with H&F Council and TfL saying that it could take up to three years to repair at a potential cost of Transport for London and the council insist their long-term aim is to fully reopen the bridge to traffic.
November 8, 2019