Repairs to Ashburton bridge to drag on throughout 2014

Hold very tightly: Boris Johnson won't be taking a bus ride across Spring Lane Bridge in Ashburton any time soon

Hold very tightly: Boris Johnson won’t be taking a bus ride across Spring Lane Bridge in Ashburton any time soon

On the day that London Mayor Boris Johnson announced that the cost of buying a daily travel card will be hiked by more than the rate of inflation, commuters and residents who use two busy bus routes in the north of the borough discovered that they are set for months more disruption and inconvenience on their journeys due to the closure of Spring Lane Bridge.

The bridge has been closed for nearly four years, and according to an answer provided at City Hall by the London Mayor, the repair works to the weakened structure now will not now be completed before August 2014 at the earliest.

The bridge, on the A215, crosses the tram line near Woodside station, providing a direct route from Addiscombe and central Croydon. But it has been closed to HGVs and buses 130 and 312 since April 2010 after weaknesses were discovered in its structure.

The 130 bus route has been diverted via Morland Road on its journey to Norwood Junction. The 312 no longer travels through Ashburton. Commuters have raised concerns about the extended time the buses have been on diversion.

Transport for London, which is under the control of the London Mayor, had promised to carry out the required repairs last Easter. But without any explanation, nothing ever happened, with TfL then offering that work would be done before the end of this year. Nothing happened.

Spring Lane BridgeFollowing questions from London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross, prompted by Labour party campaigners in Ashburton, it now emerges that no work will start at least for another five months, “providing that a third-party ownership issue is resolved”, somewhat worryingly for those hoping for an early completion. Twycross was told that the engineering and rebuilding “will be substantially complete by the end of August 2014”.

The response stated: “TfL will be working with partner organisations so that the refurbished bridge will permit vehicles up to 40 tonnes, including buses, to use the bridge. TfL intends to return the 130 and 312 to their original routes following completion of the renovation works to Spring Lane Bridge.”

When that “completion” might be, only time will tell.

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4 Responses to Repairs to Ashburton bridge to drag on throughout 2014

  1. Route 130, in my opinion benefits by being diverted via Addiscombe, Leslie Arms. It now provides a very useful connection between Morland Road/Lower Addiscombe Road and Shirley/New Addington. I certainly will be campaigning to retain the current routeing of route 130.

    The diversion of route 312 is bad because that means fewer buses between Lower Addiscombe Road and Croydon Town Centre.

    It should also be mentioned that currently Morland Road is a bit over-bused with the addition of the diverted buses. So by reducing the service back to the level that would apply without the diversions would have provided resources for other improvements, such as more buses on Route 410, and other routes, to address massive overcrowding.

  2. Tim Rodgers says:

    Can’t agree with you Peter. The 130 has the potential to be a fantastic link for the residents of New Addington and to a smaller extent Shirley Hills and Addiscombe to connect with the Overground at Norwood Junction if you knock the 10-15 minutes off that the diversion via Morland Road adds on at present. The Overground provides easy links to stacks of employment opportunities at Canary Wharf, the City and Stratford without needing to go into Zone 1, saving around £1,000 a year.

    If you keep the 312 as is, you could augment and reroute the 367 to provide a direct link from Lower Addiscombe Road to Shirley

    • 130 has made a huge difference to less mobile people living along Morland Rd/Portland. Means they can use Addiscombe high street shops – many of which are independent – easily. Will be a big loss when the bridge is fixed.

  3. baw30s says:

    It strikes me that the weight limits and consequent bus diversions at Spring Lane and Tennison Road are pretty arbitrary.
    At Spring Lane, the limit was three tonnes and then raised to 7.5, which is above the weight of a single deck bus as used on the 130 without the passengers. The passengers would add a tonne or two. Is there any real danger here? Before the last strengthening of the bridge, it carried frequent double deck buses on route 12 for 19 hours a day. I have heard that the risk of any incident now has been rated as “low”, but no-one wishes to take responsibility for assuming it, so the wasteful diversions continue.
    At Tennison Road, even more oddly, the 410 seems able to use it in one direction but not the other. Perhaps there is a fear of two buses passing each other on the bridge, but this could easily be prevented (a bus now can pass an equally heavy lorry).
    Leadership is needed here, together with proper monitoring of the bridges, until any repairs deemed necessary can be carried out. Buses should continue to use the bridge in the meantime unless significant deterioration takes place. If thought necessary, lighter buses (like those on the 356) could be used.

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