The partial closure of Tooley Street – which is to remain shut until 2018 – has been ‘murderous’, a residents’ representative has said, writes Alex Yeates…
The closure of the eastbound lane to traffic at the beginning of the month, to allow work to progress around London Bridge Station, has caused traffic jams across the area.
The works, which have also seen some bus stops temporarily relocated, will coincide with the planned closure of Tower Bridge to traffic for three months in October.
Jean Davies, chair of the Bermondsey Street Residents’ Association, said: “The Tooley Street closure has made Tower Bridge Road absolutely murderous.
“So now we have a load of traffic coming down Bermondsey Street trying to avoid the traffic at Tower Bridge Road.
“With all the changes to buses it’s going to be very hard for people. Up here, apart from the large number of tourists, we have a large number of elderly people. Some are very badly off disabled-wise.
“As far as I’m concerned, they are not even thinking about local residents, people who walk and people who uses buses. It’s mostly all about drivers or people who use bikes.”
The closure was organised by Network Rail as part of the ThamesLink Programme whereas the proposed closure of Tower Bridge Road is the City of London’s responsibility.
Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, Southwark Liberal Democrat leader, said: “The frustration we have is that there is a lot of work in the area and they haven’t really coordinated it all.
“Having Tooley Street closed as well as having work on Jamaica Road and Tower Bridge is going to have a big impact on people.
“The different transport companies need to talk to each other. We understand it needs to be done but they need to study the effects. We are very concerned.
“They all need to talk together about the combined closures and the impact it will have on the community. They keep looking at one bit at a time and they should look at the whole thing.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We absolutely realise that this work will inconvenience some people and the decision to part-close the road was not taken lightly.
“We have been keeping local residents informed and we have been touring affected business and office buildings and presenting them with our plans so staff know what is happening and when.
“More than 50m people use London Bridge station each year and this work is vital to provide them with a station that is fit for the future.”