"Ghost town" - Bexley Village prepares for next stage of bridge replacement works
PUBLISHED: 15:43 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 03 February 2016
Traffic will be diverted away from the village while businesses remain open
Works on Bexley Village’s bridge over the River Cray are set to close roads heading in and out of the village later this month, with one business claiming the village will be a “ghost town”.
Since January 7, there have been temporary two-way traffic lights in place.
But from February 22, works to demolish the old bridge will begin, with traffic being diverted away from the site via the A2.
The road closure will last five weeks, during which, one business owner claims the area will be a “ghost town”.
Chris King of Cheeks of Bexley, a formal dress shop, said: “During the day at the moment traffic isn’t too bad, but in the morning and in the evening between 4pm and 6pm it gets busy.
“But when they do block the road, it’s going to affect the village, it will be like a ghost town.
“Customers have already been complaining, I have to measure people for their wedding clothes who come from all over, but there is traffic, and parking wardens are issuing fines.
“I understand there has to be parking restrictions but its excessive.
“I don’t know what they’re planning to do when its wedding season and St Mary’s Church will be busy.”
Labour councillor Stefano Borrela concedes the work has to be done, but has raised concerns over bus routes.
He said: “Closing off the route is going to cause disruption, my main concern will be the bus routes diverted along the A2, its going to effect bus routes such as the 492 and the B12.
“We also have to consider school buses that use the route, to schools like Beths Grammar School.”
Deputy leader and cabinet member for traffic and transport at Bexley Council Alex Sawyer said: “The works in Bexley Village are to remove the old bridge and rebuild a new stronger and wider one.
“Without these improvements the old bridge could fail. It is essential that this work is done now, so that the Village can continue to thrive. The work is funded by Transport for London.
“The road will be fully closed from 22 February as planned and diversions via the A2 will be in place. We recognise that the works will cause traffic delays and we ask drivers to allow for extra time when they plan their journeys.
“The council’s highways contractor FM Conway will do all they can to minimise any disruption during this time.
“We would remind visitors to the area that local businesses are still open as usual”