Uber Boat to run new ferry while London bridge at risk of collapse

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LONDON (Reuters) - Uber Boat by Thames Clippers will run a service carrying pedestrians and cyclists across the River Thames at Hammersmith, in west London, reducing the disruption caused by the closure of a Victorian bridge, the city’s transport authority said.

Built in 1887, Hammersmith Bridge has been closed to motor traffic since April 2019 following the discovery of micro-fractures in its brittle cast iron pedestals.

In August 2020, it was closed to pedestrians and cyclists and river traffic beneath it was banned after a sudden increase in the size of the fractures led to fears that it could collapse without warning.

Transport for London said on Tuesday the ferry service will have a minimum capacity of 800 passengers at peak times and the cost of a fare will be 1.55 pounds ($2.12). The service is expected to begin taking passengers at the end of the summer.

A riverboat service that runs through the centre of London, including stops at the London Eye and Canary Wharf, was rebranded Uber Boat by Thames Clippers last year.

($1 = 0.7295 pounds)

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill)