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Improvements to Sydenham Park Footbridge

Find out more about how we're improving Sydenham Park Footbridge

The Sydenham Park Footbridge spans the London Bridge to Croydon railway line, between Dacres Road and Sydenham Park. It forms a well-used link between the communities and facilities either side of the line, including by local school children.

The bridge also lies on part of the Palace Way cycle route, and a narrow ramp is provided to help dismounted cyclists wheel their bikes over the bridge

The footbridge was built in 1875, and whilst various repairs have been undertaken over the years, the bridge span (the section of the bridge that crosses over the railway) now needs replacing. The bridge is built from materials that are difficult to maintain, and its steps are particularly steep, making it difficult for people with restricted mobility to use it.

We will be carrying out works to improve the bridge over the next few weeks and months, as outlined below.

What will the work involve?

To improve the bridge, we will:

  • Refurbish the steps on both sides of the bridge, making it easier and safer to cross 
  • Replace the bridge span (picture of current bridge span can be found below)
  • Review the lighting on the path leading up to the bridge and the bridge span to ensure there are suitable levels of light
  • Prune the trees and bushes on the path leading up to the bridge to make it more visible and brighter

The main part of the Sydenham Park Footbridge, with trees and houses in the background

The stairs leading up to Sydenham Park Footbridge, with trees around them

Programme for construction

The works will take place in two phases: the first phase will be the refurbishment of the stairs and the second phase will be the replacement of the bridge span and additional lighting.

The refurbishment of the stairs will take place from 25 July until 31 August 2022, in line with the school summer holidays, to reduce the disruption to users. The footbridge will be closed during this time. It will open in September, for the start of the school term.

The second phase of works is currently due to take place over the weekend of 13 November 2022. The bridge will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists over this weekend. An update on the project will be provided mid-September once the dates for the second phase are confirmed.

Once the new bridge span is installed, the lighting levels will be reviewed and any improvements will be made.

Diversion during phase one

The section of Sydenham Park from Longfield Crescent to the bridge will be closed during the refurbishment works. Access to properties for residents will of course be maintained, and the footpath up to Forest Hill Station will still be accessible.

The bridge itself will also be closed for 4-5 weeks whilst the stairs are being refurbished. There will be a signed diversion route for pedestrians whilst the bridge is closed. Residents could also use buses to reach the other side of the bridge, from either Kirkdale or Mayow Road heading to Sydenham or Forest Hill.

Who is doing the work?

The Council will be commissioning Construction Marine Limited (CML) to undertake the works.

Future plans

The current improvements are needed to keep the bridge safe and open to the public. We ultimately plan to replace the steps, but in the meantime, we’re refurbishing them to make the bridge more accessible and easier to use.

We’ve looked into potential options to replace the steps, as part of our longer-term plans to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the bridge. A stepped ramp appears to be the most practical option within the space available on either side of the bridge. We’ll now look into this option in greater detail and explore possible designs, in order to develop a programme of work.

We plan to start the initial designs for a stepped ramp later this financial year. Once these designs are completed, we’ll identify funding to help us finalise the designs and implement the scheme.

Once we have more details on the future plans, including timescales, we’ll share them with local residents for their thoughts and feedback.

Contact details

If you would like to contact us about the works or if you have any queries, please email
sydenhamparkFB@lewisham.gov.uk or call the Project Manager, Gill Redrup, on 020 8314 2589