RESIDENTS are concerned a key walking and cycling bridge is to be made an unsafe and unpleasant place from works to create the £4.2 billion super sewer.
Concerns have been aired that the Greenwich approach to the Ha’ Penny Bridge over Deptford Creek is to be boxed in by an intimidating concrete culvert whilst a four year programme of works is carried out for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The bridge is a key route between Deptford and Greenwich for walkers and is part of the London Mayor’s Quietway route to encourage safe cycling. Residents are concerned that the new route, which is to be in place for about four years, is just to be 2.5 metres wide is unacceptably narrow and will lead to conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.
A diversion is currently under construction by Tideway adjacent to the the railway viaduct between the bridge and Norman Road as the current path runs between two areas needed for the construction of the “super sewer.”
Tideway say the pathway has been created in a way to retain access but to enable works to be carried out in a safe way. It states that due to the underground gas mains, substation and footprint of the works shaft the path diversion cannot be any wider.
Nick Williams, from campaign group Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart, said: “ The route is going to be far too narrow, bends awkwardly and has very high concrete sides that will make this section of the London Mayor’s Quiet way deeply unpopular at best and probably very unsafe and unpleasant at worst. It will certainly force cyclists and pedestrians into conflict.”
A spokeswoman from Tideway, told The Mercury: “We are aware of the concerns from the local community and are working with the local borough to put in better measures for safety and security.”
Works are now ongoing at Deptford Church Street and Greenwich Pumping Station to prepare the sites for main construction. In Deptford, this includes diversion of existing utilities in Deptford Church Street and Crossfield Street. While in Greenwich, Thames Water and Tideway have been working to divert a Victorian sewer and setting up new site offices.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a 16 mile tunnel under construction under the tidal section of the River Thames through central London. It aims to capture the combined raw sewage and rainwater discharges that currently overflow into the river from the Victorian system designed by Joseph Bazalgette.