At the time of writing, it’s been over seven long months since Network Rail closed Kingsbury Bridge at short notice. This is a key part of C1, one of the most popular routes in the capital. The ‘diversion’ is unfit for purpose and we’ve been working with our sister group in Hackney to try to fix it.
In March 2023, we met TfL who agreed with us that improvements were needed. And although Islington Council have filled in some rather large potholes in the road, the ‘diversion’ remains and we are worried for people’s safety.
In June, along with Hackney Cyclists, we tried to help people use the ‘diversion’ on their way to work and/or dropping off their children at school. Things aren’t good when volunteers have to help marshal a diversion.
At the end of June, we finally met Network Rail and although plans were under way to remove the old bridge and replace it with a new one by Easter 2024 (by which time the ‘diversion’ will have been in place for A YEAR), details were still a bit vague. The good news was that Network Rail has the budget to improve the ‘diversion’ and the bad news was that they are still waiting for Islington and Hackney councils to confirm details and get cracking. So we wrote to the councils, again.
At the beginning of August (keep up !), we received a letter from Network Rail to confirm that there are now dates to remove the existing bridge (December 2023) and instal a new one (Jan/Feb 2024), with the new bridge reopening ‘in the first half of next year’. Network Rail also confirmed that they are continuing to work with Islington and Hackney councils on ‘possible changes to the diversion route’.
So. What next ? Keep your comments and experiences of the ‘diversion’ coming and let’s all hope that there are no further incidents on this key cycle route while local politicians continue to wrangle what appears to us to be an open and shut case. They all agree the ‘diversion’ is useless. They have the money to fix it – as Network Rail has provided it. What’s the hold-up ?
PS: If anyone wants to borrow some large red foam hands, you know where to find them.