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New Erith road bridge to be decided tonight

PUBLISHED: 09:17 01 September 2011 | UPDATED: 09:57 01 September 2011

The bridge now is close to capacity

The bridge now is close to capacity

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»A multi-million pound road bridge in Erith looks set to get the go-ahead from councillors tonight (Thursday).

The application, by Bexley council’s regeneration department to the authority’s planning committee is to build a new bridge next to the existing two over the railway lines at the junction of Bexley Road and Queens Road, in the hope of reducing accidents as well as traffic gridlock.

It would mean the crossing would have three lanes east-bound and two west-bound.

However money for the project, which is estimated to be between £6m to £8m, is not in place.

Council bosses hope they will have a better chance of getting funding from central government if they have been granted planning permission which, if successful, will last five years.

Essential

A spokesman for the council said construction should only have a minimal effect on existing traffic as the work involves constructing a new bridge.

They said: “Planning permission will give us the edge when making funding applications.

“There is no funding on the radar at the moment but if successful, the planning permission will be there for five years giving us more time to seek funding. We are using the planning application to get one step closer.

“It is part of the Strategic Network Route – a road looked after by the Highway’s Agency – essential for heavy goods vehicles and is a key London link route. This has to be balanced with local traffic trying to get across from Erith and Northumberland Heath.

“The current bridge is very close to capacity and its useage will only increase.”

Pedestrians would also be able to use the bridge and there will be a traffic island in the middle to ensure a safe crossing.

A council report written to the planning department reads: “The scheme will have economic benefits through the reductions in delays and through reduced costs associated with reduction in accidents.”

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