The moment has finally arrived: Putney Bridge has closed.
From today the Grade II listed bridge - a major route over the River Thames - will be closed for three months as part of a £1.5m repair programme.
Some road users described the area as ‘chaos’ this morning as traffic jams built up along nearby roads including Upper Richmond Road and Wandsworth Bridge.
However, many cyclists have been enjoying a quiet Putney High Street and a swift ride across the empty bridge – despite being told to dismount.
Pedestrians and cyclists can still use the bridge and buses are operating from both ends. Drivers have been advised to change their route to avoid disruption.
There is a bus shuttle service on both sides of the bridge and passengers have to cross on foot to get to another bus on the other side.
Maps by Transport for London (TfL) show how buses will operate during the closure.
Passengers only have pay for one fare during the journey.
People with a travel card or concessionary cards, such as the Freedom Pass, can catch their buses as normal.
Anyone using an Oyster or contactless payment card can obtain transfer vouchers from a bus driver or transfer cards from dedicated members of staff.
Passengers who obtain a transfer card can use it multiple times throughout the closure.
During the works, the frequency of the Route 72 between Roehampton and Hammersmith will be increased.
Cyclists will be able to continue using the bridge, but they will need to dismount and wheel their bikes across.
You can still walk over the bridge but no traffic is allowed
Elaine Brookes, 39, is from Notting Hill and travels to Earlsfield where she tutors children with autism.
She said: "I left at 7.30am. I got a tube partially to Hammersmith then the 220 to here. I'm hoping I can get another one on this side heading to Earlsfield.
"It has been alright so far - not as bad as I thought.
"I usually get up at the same time too. I like to get in early."
Richard Tracey, the London assembly member for Wandsworth and Merton, said: "I have been here with Councillor Jim Maddan since 7am.
"It seems to be working well, with buses fully operational both ends of the bridge, and cyclists managing well.
"The only downside - no portaloos for the drivers on site yet, and I think a "keep clear" yellow box is needed on Lower Richmond Road where the buses are turning by the Indian restaurant.
"Also the temporary traffic light timing sequence may need some tweaking. Good operation."
The shopkeeper of Food and Wine, on Lower Richmond Road, known locally as Sami, 28, said: “It was the same as usual for me – I get trains.
"It was no problem for me from Wembley to Putney. But I think some people have problems as buses are diverted.
“It really affects the businesses while the bridge is closed - all of them. But I think [the repairs] are good because they are for the future.”
Cyclist Ian Cooper, 35, from Southfields, said: “It is not ideal but it’s actually been easier as a cyclist. It’s nice going over the bridge when there is no traffic.”
Transport for London had to add to their list of repairs for Putney Bridge after a bus crashed into a wall last week.
The bridge was temporarily closed for more than three hours while the driver was rescued by fire fighters and the area made safe.
The crash scene on Monday last week
The hole in the wall is currently being covered by a metal fence
- Are you a Putney resident, worker, commuter, or local business? How will the closure affect you? Leave a comment below or send a letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org