Crime fears at ‘dangerous’ South Woodford bridge

Tom McLaren and Emma Best on the steps at the footbridge

Tom McLaren and Emma Best on the steps at the footbridge - Credit: Archant

A “dangerous” bridge blighted by fears over crime has been thrust into the spotlight.

Concerns about Redbridge’s Church End ward were aired at the area committee two meeting last week.

Tom McLaren, from the Church End Ward Action Team and the Church End Conservatives, said residents were wary about using the bridge, which begins near South Woodford station and ends in Marlborough Road.

“Some residents are not comfortable walking over the bridge at night,” he said at the meeting in Sir James Hawkey Hall, Bromhill Road, Woodford Green.

“The alleyway near it has seen drug use and residents complain it is dirty and has dog mess in it – they have to walk the long way round with their children.” Mr McLaren added that the bridge was the site of a number of muggings last year.

Cllr Richard Hoskins (Liberal Democrat, Church End) said: “It is an extremely dangerous area, there was quite a lot of trouble there a year ago. If there is a problem again we need safer neighbourhood teams to keep an eye on it.”

Mr McLaren also raised parking issues in Marlborough Road. He said residents were unhappy with one side being for their parking and the other a pay and display.

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The pay and display applies from Monday to Sunday, but residents’ parking does not apply on Saturdays.

“They don’t have anywhere to park then,” said Mr McLaren. “Everyone parks on their side of the road. We need something to act as a deterrent.”

However, Cllr Ian Bond (Lib Dem, Roding) said the last time residents were asked whether they would welcome changes, the majority said “no”. “Seventy-five to 85 per cent wanted it to be the same,” he said. “People go shopping at weekends and that’s less of a problem.

“They want to keep it as it is, so it is not something we want to revisit unless it has changed significantly in the last year.”