TfL has launched a new funded scheme to tackle safety issues at Battersea Bridge.
Creating a funded scheme to tackle pedestrian safety issues at the bridge means that money has now been allocated and ring-fenced by TfL for this purpose.
This follows several weeks of petitioning by residents and officials after the death of jogger Jack Ryan, 29, who was killed on 13th January while trying to cross the bridge.
Battersea Bridge has long been known to pose a danger for pedestrians due to the lack of any green man pelican crossings at the junction of Battersea Bridge/Beaufort Street/Cheyne Walk.
Between 1st April and 31st October alone, ten accidents were reported there.
Writer and Journalist Rob McGibbon, 51, who started the petition to improve safety at the junction commended TfL and Commissioner Andy Byford for their swift action on the matter.
McGibbon said: “Everyone is moving as quickly as possible. Andy Byford has accelerated every action at every turn on this, which has been hugely impressive.
“The campaign continues until a crossing is installed, but I am confident enough to say that one will be built.
“This has been an incredible case of ‘people power’ unlocking what has been almost two decades of inaction.
“It is desperately sad to think that none of this would have happened if it were not for Jack Ryan’s tragic death on the bridge.”
His petition has now reached over 24,000 signatures.
On Friday 29th January, TfL officers met with councillors from Kensington and Chelsea council and launched a full safety audit of the crossing.
They are now examining options for improving the safety of pedestrians crossing at the junction, and according to McGibbon, have already presented designs to the council for analysis.
From conception to finish, the usual average timeline for the installation of a pedestrian crossing is one year.
McGibbon is pushing for TfL to make safety proposals ready for public consultation before purdah, the pre-election period during which local government is prevented from announcing any new policies or initiatives.
Purdah begins on 22nd March ahead of the Mayoral elections, which are set to take place on 6th May this year.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer, said: “Action is urgently needed and we are working with the borough to deliver improvements that will protect the safety of all road users as soon as possible.”
Featured image: Battersea Bridge. Credit Lisa Haseldine