The old Bostall Manorway footbridge is scheduled for removal this weekend, it has been on Network Rail’s published list of jobs to be done for quite a long time now. Its replacement was erected a month ago and is ready for use. I have been going along every couple of days to be sure of taking some of the first photographs from its span; not that they would be any good, like everything around Crossrail it is shrouded in heavy duty mesh.
Today when I took a look at what I thought must at this late stage be the new bridge in use I was in for a shock. Not only were both closed, a sign proudly announced that there would be no crossing at that point for six whole months.
I decided facts would be better than speculation so I knocked on the manager’s door at Network Rail’s Felixstowe Road headquarters.
The delayed opening is because residents close to the bridge are objecting to it - at least two years after planning permission was granted. It overlooks their properties is the main complaint although maybe they should be complaining about its ugliness too, albeit not as bad as at Church Manorway.
Faced with the complaints and perhaps the News Shoppers’ report in their 2nd September issue, two options were put on the table. Remove the old bridge next Saturday and open the new one thereby annoying the few complainants or remove the old bridge and not open the new bridge and annoy almost everyone.
The option of retaining the old bridge was apparently not considered.
The decision to annoy a large number of people for the next six months was made jointly by Greenwich Council and Network Rail. Maybe more information will be made available at the next Liaison Panel meeting on 29th September.
I’m not convinced that the right decision was reached but fortunately I did not have to take it.
For the record, the bridge span was put in place on 23rd August and not finished until quite recently. Where Friday August 11th comes from will be a News Shopper exclusive.