The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have confirmed that they will not reopen the Bowes Road footbridge this month as promised. TfL had promised that the footbridge would reopen by 29th March 2016, but told London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM that there have been further delays to the works. The news of the delayed reopening comes almost two years after Ms McCartney first raised her concerns with TfL and almost a year after she escalated her concerns to the Mayor of London when TfL missed their original target of April 2015.
In an email to Joanne McCartney AM, TfL have stated that further unexpected issues with the original design and construction of the bridge had set back repair work. The footbridge had been set to reopen in March 2016, but repairs are not expected to start on site before the end of this month, with a proposed timetable for the main works to begin in early April. Joanne McCartney has written to the Mayor requesting a new timetable of works and confirmation of a new proposed re-open date.
Whilst the ramps have been accessible, concerns have been raised by Ms McCartney and a number of local residents over the safety of school children who are unlikely to use the ramps but cross the busy North Circular Road.
The structure was first installed in 2012 but a structural failure of pin joints on the stairs have required them to be closed to the public since March 2014.
Local Labour London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:
“It’s incredibly disappointing that TfL have further delayed the repairs and opening of the Bowes Road footbridge. I have written again to the Mayor about this issue as yet again we do not have a re-opening date for the stairs. The closure of the stairs and the continuous delays are causing a lot of concern and frustration in the local community given that the footbridge is over the busy North Circular Road.
“It is important that repairs are carried out successfully to prevent future faults with the bridge, but the delays to the repairs and reopening is unacceptable. The bridge will have been closed for longer than it was open which is a complete farce.
“I appreciate that this has been a complex issue but I would urge TfL to ensure the local community are kept fully informed of any further delays in the future.”