All troops must break step....

Albert Bridge is beautiful but it is not strong. Even when it was opened in 1873 soldiers were instructed to break step when crossing it. The bridge is a fragile cast and wrought iron structure with timber decking built like so many other London bridges for horses and carriages. It was never designed to take the day to day punishment of thousands of motorists on their daily commute. Around 5.8 million vehicles cross the bridge every year.

Today, it has a weight limit of 2.5 tonnes but it is deteriorating fast and if we do not carry out major restoration it will, in time, have to be closed, permanently.

The bridge was closed to traffic on 15 February 2010 until the end of 2011 for major strengthening, repairs, repainting and relighting.


The bridge reopened in December last year looking very spick and span with its new paint job and a new ‘All troops must break step....” notice. The sign is now superfluous as the only troops likely to march across here were based at nearby Chelsea barracks which closed in 2008 (and was sold for £959 million to a developer. That is a lot of money for a building site).


Pete Woodhead faved this
  • Peter Rouse 3y

    Wouldn't it be nice if they could redefine it as a landscaped bridge dedicated to pedestrian access only, rather like the Mile End example here....

    Green Bridge, Mile End Road, London by zoer

  • jordi.martorell 3y

    well seen, sound advice as shown by what happened with the Millenium Bridge
  • flacko man 3y

    Would they still be marching if they broke step?
  • O.F.E. 3y

    Peter Rouse As this is sandwiched between Chelsea and Battersea Bridges I don't see why it couldn't be a pedestrian bridge. They closed it for two years without causing havoc. They have too many bridges this end of London - about time they let us have one!
    jordi.martorell very true, it would be quite good fun to see soldiers swaying in the wind though wouldn't it?
    flacko man that is a technical question I don't feel qualified to answer f_m.
  • Matthew Wood 3y

    I feel some much needed graffitti is needed, change the word step to wind...please !
  • Geoff Main 3y

    Well done again - can only amplify my earlier comments on your recent choices of perspective and composition.
  • oz_lightning 3y

    Great POV!
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Taken on February 2, 2012
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