The long-delayed strengthening works on the Blackhorse Lane bridge, a vital route between Addiscombe and Woodside, appears to have begun.
Back in October, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described as “just not good enough” the suggestion from Transport for London that the works on the bridge would not be completed until 2020.
The road bridge, usually a busy north-south road, crosses the tram tracks close to the eponymously named tram stop.
Built at the turn of the 19th century, the bridge had become unsafe for heavy traffic and larger modern vehicles, and as a result it was closed in 2016.
Works had been due to begin in 2017 to strengthen the bridge, with it due to re-open early in 2019, but last autumn TfL advised Croydon Council that work would not be completed until 2020, at the earliest.
The Mayoral intervention appears to have done the trick, as yesterday Inside Croydon’s loyal reader observed site fencing being erected and heavy plant machinery being moved into place.
“Workmen were moving fences, unloading gear, doing stuff under the bridge – and some foundations seem to have been laid,” our eagle-eyed reporter says.
“So all previous excuses for inaction can now be considered inoperative – and another triumph for community pressure voiced so passionately by Inside Croydon!”
The Mayor of London had received representations from Croydon Council and Croydon Central’s Labour MP, Sarah Jones, whose constituency office is just a few yards away from the bridge.
Jones has also called upon TfL to pay compensation to local traders for their lost business as a result of the bridge delays – another factor in TfL moving this bridge repair up its list of priority projects.
At a Mayor’s Question Time session in October, Khan said he had “personally intervened” to speed up work on the bridge.
“We here at City Hall can’t dismiss this as a local project because local businesses are really being affected,” Khan said.
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Unbelievable that it wasn’t strengthened as a matter of course……. why should a job like this take high level intervention? Presumably, money. Addiscombe’s belated gain is probably some other part of London’s further delayed bridge project.