Ahead of 2016 GLA Assembly election we arranged for the Norwood Forum Chair, Noshir Patel, and Labour GLA candidate for Lambeth & Southwark, Flo Eshalomi, to conduct a walking tour of Lancaster Avenue and Thurlow Park Road with the bridge strike issue and subsequent road diversion the main topic of discussion.

As many of you may know, the bridge on Thurlow Park Road is the most hit in the country and the impact has been of growing significance to residents and business alike. The economic cost of delayed train and car journeys, the negative effect on air pollution, the impact on road safety, the actual damage to the bridge, and the cost to train operating companies.

As a reminder, we met with TfL and LARA residents last December 2015 and discussed a rage of short and long term strategies to help residents better cope with the ongoing issue. In the short term we had hoped to see better signage being installed. These would be “smart”, triggered only by oversized vehicles which should mean they are more effective. Otherwise, we had also hoped to see CCTV being installed to monitor and measure impact.

In the longer term we understood that TfL would be developing a business case for lowering the road as a way to prevent bridge strikes and to remove the need to divert any traffic down Lancaster Avenue. This will take some time because it is a complicated engineering challenge thanks to bridge foundations and the sewer. It will also have a huge impact on the road, as it would have to be closed for the works to be completed.

Florence was diligent in her questions and understood the need for something to be done as quickly as possible. She was keen to help and said that she would raise the matter, if elected, during Mayor’s question time.

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