Thursday, 13 June 2013

Abbey Street bridge reopens, but south Bermondsey loses the C10 bus

This is a modern day tale of 'North and South' - Bermondsey divided by a bus route.

Residents living in the northern half of Bermondsey will be pleased to know that the refurbishment of the Abbey Street railway bridge is almost complete.  After nearly three months, the road blocks have been removed and the scaffolding taken down, revealing a rather attractive and royally blue bridge.

Cars, vans and trucks have been diverted along Enid Street and Spa Road, causing disruption for many, including those making their journeys on the much used C10 bus route.  But, the wait was worth it. 

Metal netting under the bridge should prevent birds from nesting and spattering the ground with remnants of their 'midday lunch'. The freshly painted pillars lining both sides of the road enhance the public realm, while the steel safety bollards create a modern feel to the Victorian construction.

But, as the C10 bus trundles once more under the bridge, spare a thought for those who live and work in south BermondseySouthwark Park Road and 'The Blue' market were well-served, albeit temporarily, by the C10 diversion.  Buses transporting them to Borough and Victoria have been snatched quietly away while they were sleeping.

Of course, the C10 has rightly returned to its usual route passing Bermondsey Spa and serving the Jamaica Road community.  But, this has highlighted the poorer transport provision for south BermondseyTransport for London must now review the frequency and capacity on bus route number 1, which is frequently a standing-room only cattle truck.  Fighting for and getting better transport at 'The Blue' would surely be a vote winner with local people.

So, thank you Network Rail for doing your best to create a better Bermondsey, but more must be done.  By the way, don't forget to steam clean the pavements and install new lighting to make pedestrians feel safer at night.

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