Balham Railway Bridge is being restored after campaigning by local residents, councillors and Tooting’s MP.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting and Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health, also lobbied Network Rail for the restoration project.
She noted that the company had already committed to a £2.6 million investment to restore Balham Station itself by reducing the gaps between the trains and platforms, refurbishing the platforms, and repairing the drainage and platform canopies.
She told SWL: “Balham Railway Bridge is a prominent and important feature of our local community. Unfortunately, in recent years, the bridge’s grandeur has sadly faded beyond all recognition.
“The volunteers behind Beautify Balham raised this important issue with me. I wrote to Network Rail with the group’s suggestions and they’ve already taken swift action as part of Balham Station renovations – the bridge has had its first coat of paint!
“Myself and other residents are delighted to see the bridge returned to its former glory.”
Beautify Balham, a new council-funded community website that promotes cleaner and greener neighbourhoods in the area, campaigned for the bridge’s refurbishment alongside its tree planting, gardening, litter picking and other beautifying projects.
Beautify Balham founder Jean Millar said: “It has been an ongoing issue for over a year so it’s really good news that they have started to repaint it and our campaigning has achieved something.”
“It forms a focal point in Balham being visible from all angles as you approach and leave the town. It doesn’t showcase Balham in a good light at all with peeling paint and grubby, rusting columns.
“There are two other bridges in Balham: on Bedford Hill and Boundaries Road, so these now need the same attention.”
A sign in front of the bridge says that works will be continuing for approximately eight weeks from 1st June with some lane closures in that time.
For more information on the works on the bridge, you can visit Network Rail’s website or call its community relations team on our 24-Hour Helpline 03457 11 41 41.