Current Safety Notices
23rd August 2021
Sorry for the delay in communicating with you regarding the Barnes Bridge arch closure. I have had to wait for clarification about closure timings.
The arch will be closed from the 24 August as per the Notice to Mariners U5of 2021
The PLA have agreed with the navigation plans as shown in the below. Please use extreme caution when navigating through the central arch, whatever direction you are travelling in.
Although the NTM U5 states the arch will be closed for 4 months, this is total time expected for the works to be carried out in. The PLA working with the contractors, will reopen the arch during construction whenever possible. The three phases of construction when the arch need to be closed are as follows;
- Construction of a coffer dam using sheet piling. Time, approximately one month. Once the coffer dam is built the plan is for the arch to reopen while work is done behind the coffer dam
- Installation of the bridge
- Removal of the coffer dam
I will be in contact with the PLA to make sure the arch is open as much as possible and will communicate with clubs as soon as I have any further information.
Rowing Safety Advisor, TTRC
30th July 2021
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.
15th 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."
- 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
20th May 2021
Hammersmith Bridge remain closed to transiting river traffic. However the Notice to Mariners below describes a regarding a new "traffic light" recently fitted to the bridge.
With regards to rowing boat transit of the bridge when the light is green the PLA Harbour Master has said the following:
"Yes that's correct when a green arrow shows rowers will be permitted to pass through the bridge, however it's probably going to be a couple of weeks before we get to a stage of being able to show the green arrow.
It should also be noted that if rowers go through the bridge and the status changes to a red cross they'll be stuck on that side of the bridge until it reopens, so it may be worth the clubs considering their options should that happen.
With regard to the no.3 arch [Surrey] at the moment it's going to remain closed, we're in the process of working with LBH&F about options to get it reopened."
Therefor please be patient and wait for the light to go green and also be prepared to do some portage if the light goes red and you're on the 'wrong' side! Many thanks to the PLA who are working to get No.3 arch open asap so that we can navigate safely.
2nd November 2020
Outings to Chelsea.
After consultation with the PLA after a question was asked by one of the clubs, weekend outings to Chelsea Bridge are permissible as long as they are in accordance with the following from the Tideway Code:
Rowing boats are advised to inform London VTS if they go below Wandsworth Bridge but it has been agreed that they may proceed as far as Chelsea Bridge without having to contact London VTS. This is a concession, don't abuse it! Due to commercial barge traffic movements at various freight facilities, rowers must not proceed below Fulham Railway bridge for 3hrs before and 2hrs after high tide. Times refer to High Tide at London Bridge
As most of you know the barges either side of Hammersmith Bridge move each day. Unfortunately when they return to Hammersmith Bridge their position has not been consistent. If you believe the barges are in a place which makes it unsafe to turn please submit an incident report preferably with photos, which I will pass onto the PLA.
There will be bridge openings to allow boats to move through the bridge in a controlled way. I know from a number of people that when this last occurred some crews had to cope with some unnecessarily large wash. If this happens again please report the vessel to London VTS +44 20 3260 7711 as soon as possible.
Barges to Fulham
I had a verbal report about a barge being pushed up to Fulham FC without any lights on the barge, the tug was correctly light. Apparently this is not correct and the barge should have a white light on the bows. If you see a barge without the correct light, please report to London VTS and submit a report which I will forward to the PLA.
To sum up if you see something wrong please report it. At the same time we as a rowing community have to keep our house in order by navigating and acting responsibly.
Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council
10th September 2020
Due to the emergency closure of Hammersmith Bridge a number of vessels are stuck on the "wrong" side of the bridge. On Friday 11 September and Saturday 12 September the PLA in conjunction with Hammersmith and Fulham Council are allowing these vessels to get to where they need to be. The timings, direction and number of vessels involved are below;
Friday 0600-0730 Inbound 19 vessels
Saturday 0600-0830 Outbound 31 vessels
Note the allowed timing for both openings are 0600-1000 but the boats are expected to be clear of the bridge at the time shown.
Clubs may wish to consider their outing times as High Water at hammersmith Bridge is 0836 on Friday and 0931 on Saturday.
On Friday there will be barge movement from Fulham FC at 1530