Residents in Camberwell and Peckham have faced further ‘traffic chaos’ after engineering works started on Bellenden Bridge, almost two years after Camberwell Grove bridge was closed.
Camberwell Grove Bridge closed to traffic in October 2016 for essential maintenance but over eighteen months later has yet to re-open.
As the News reported last November, 73 per cent of locals who responded to a public consultation called for the bridge to reopen, with residents telling the News that traffic had surged in the narrow streets west of Peckham with “almost daily” altercations between drivers.
Last week, exasperated residents took to Twitter after feeling the impact of more engineering works on nearby Bellenden Bridge, with Tweeter Julia Manning saying the combined work had caused “traffic chaos”.
Thanks Julia. Yes I’ve been inundated with emails about it. I have asked officers to request Network Rail which is responsible for the closure to resolve the traffic problems.
— Ian Wingfield (@riwingfield) May 8, 2018
On Tuesday, St Giles ward councillor, Ian Wingfield, Tweeted that he had been “inundated with emails about it. I have asked officers to request Network Rail which is responsible for the closure to resolve the traffic problems”.
In the latest letter sent to residents, Network Rail confirmed that repairs will be carried out on Camberwell Grove Bridge no later than August 2018.
— Peter Simpson (@PeterSimpson999) May 4, 2018
On Friday Southwark Council shared the following statement, from a Network Rail spokesperson, on its website, in response to residents:
“Southwark Council has forwarded a number of complaints to Network Rail over recent days and the following message is designed to respond to those concerns raised with regard to the essential bridge replacement that is taking place on Bellenden Road, which is to replace a life expired bridge to allow the continuation of the train service in this area and to carry out improvement works to the Camberwell Grove bridge to open the bridge to traffic under 3 tonnes.
“Firstly, we would like to apologise for any inconvenience and disruption that these improvement works may be causing you. Network Rail and Southwark Council have been working closely together to try and mitigate and minimise as much disruption as possible, but due to the nature of the works there will regrettably be some disruption.
“Ourselves and Southwark Council have to maintain our infrastructure for the safety of the public and to protect train passengers. However, due to limited railway closures to deliver both schemes as efficiently as possible we required the closure of all four railway lines for 72 hours.
“The May Spring bank holiday has given us the opportunity to carry out these essential works to both of the bridges. In the early stages of the project, an increase in traffic a certain times of the day is anticipated, however, this was compounded on Tuesday with a broken down vehicle on Peckham Road for a number of hours that reduced the road to a single lane.
“Southwark Council and Network Rail have reviewed the signage on the diversion and taken into consideration the feedback from yourselves and have taken the steps to improve the signage where necessary , including placing traffic marshals at Bellenden Road at the junction Holy Grove and Blenheim Grove at the junction of Bellenden Road, Improving the signage at the junction Lyndhurst Way and Peckham Road. During a walkabout on 10 May, traffic was flowing well in the area. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and your kind co-operation during this time.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”