Update on Sydenham Park footbridge

Question by Councillor Upex
of the Deputy Mayor

Question

Please give an update with regard to the future of the Sydenham Park footbridge and what thoughts have been given to making this crossing more accessible for cyclists, those with disabilities and those with children’s buggies?

Reply

The proposal is to replace the central bridge span with a similar looking structure and the refurbishment to the existing stairs.

The works are currently being re-priced in a new tender exercise, as the previous company has ceased trading. The contract award is proposed to take place in July 2018, subject to the tender return being acceptable.

The programme for the bridge works is dependent upon Network Rail’s approval of the design, method statements for installation and the booking of track possessions. The Agreements with Network Rail can progress after the award of the tender, and only then will the dates be known for the site works programmed.

A proposal for ramps wasn’t considered viable as the works is predominantly that of replacing the bridge span. A complete replacement of the whole structure along with ramps/lifts and new stairs would add considerable cost to the scheme. Ramps will require land acquisition and the footpath gradient is such that a straight ramp from the bridge would be too steep if landed at Dacres Road. Ramps are also likely to be considered unsightly and obtrusive in such a location.

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I might have misunderstood but doesn’t this mean the footbridge will still be inaccessible for anyone who can’t manage stairs? And with the subway by Forest Hill station also inaccessible it means the only alternative for crossing the train tracks is to go a (very) long way round?

Let’s say that I come out of the Sylvan Post and fancy going to Mayow Park. If stairs aren’t an option, I either have to go via the south circular or via Sydenham Road. Is that right?

I’ve recently moved to the area so sorry if I’m missing something.

Is anyone aware of any updates on the footbridge works?