Southwark Council Highways Department has proposed to close Cox’s Walk bridge from Monday 27th January 2020 for a unspecified period due the bridge is unsafe due to the conditions of the brick abutments on the Sydenham/Dulwich wood side as the roots of the two large oaks which are over 100 years old on each side are affecting the structure. The trees was due to be felled last year, but a petition was set up to stop this happening has Southwark Council held a public consultation was over Christmas 2018 for the “minimum legal period”; the plans for the healthy, mature oaks were not communicated to the London Wildlife Trust which the council strongly objects; and research into alternatives to felling were conducted behind closed doors, she claims. The letter went on to say: “Everything we have suggested, from getting the advice of a specialist conservation engineer, with expertise in restoring historic structures in sensitive environments, to having a full, open consultation on alternative solutions, including re-routing the path, has been dismissed without discussion.
“Please listen to us now: put the bridge repairs on hold and conduct a full, open, public consultation on all the options. That is the way to empower communities.”
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Please see e-mail dated 24th January 20202 from Southwark Highways below for new update on situation:
I apologise for the delay in sending an update on the latest situation with the proposed works to refurbish Cox’s Walk Footbridge. As you may know, we commissioned an investigation into potential alternative construction options and are currently reviewing the results and will advise everyone as soon as possible on our proposed way forward.
As most will be aware, a report prepared in 2018 demonstrated that the footbridge was in a hazardous condition, due to the potential failure of the abutments (supporting walls). A more recent inspection has also determined a further, significant safety issue with the timber parapets, which were due to be completely refurbished as part of the overall works.
It was considered in 2018 that the risk to the public was relatively minor as works were planned to be carried out within 18 months. However, the deterioration in the condition of the timber parapets, in addition to the potential failure of the abutments, is such that the safety of the structure is now significantly compromised and we have no option but to close the footpath across the bridge until full repair works can be undertaken.
The closure will be put in place on Monday 27th January with full diversion signage in place between Sydenham Hill and Lordship Lane.
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