Skew Bridge crash resolution
I am very pleased to report that the repairs works have finally been completed following a crash off Skew Bridge in August.
In August 2022, a car crashed into a garden fence near Skew Bridge along Old Ford Road in Bow. Luckily no one was hurt in the crash, but the damage was significant. Some railings protecting pedestrians from traffic on the bridge were destroyed, a resident’s fence was destroyed, the wall it was attached to crashed into the resident’s garden, destroying their belongings and making the garden unusable.
I was devastated to hear of the crash, particularly because I had just recently submitted a question to the Mayor asking for urgent action to improve the safety of the bridge because poor driving behaviour had caused previous crashes. I remain highly concerned about the location, and worry that there may be a fatality in the area before long. I’ve been speaking to council officers to make sure that they make recommendations to resolve the safety issues at the location in this year’s budget.
Multi-agency repair work needed
When I visited the residents affected by the crash, I realised that the repair operation was a highly complex and needed my attention. The main issue were the number of different organisations involved:
- The Police had access to the driver’s insurance details
- The Canal & River Trust (CRT) owned the bridge and the wall which was damaged
- The council Highways team were to repair the road and pavement and organise the road closure which would enable the repair works to take place
- Clarion were the social landlord of the property affected
The resident was therefore at the mercy of the effectiveness of these organisations to work well together to ensure a speedy resolution to the issues.
What was my role?
My role was to make sure that these organisations acted quickly to secure the resident’s property as soon as possible. Following a worrying few days when we could not contact CRT, they finally got in touch to confirm that they would be carrying out all the repairs and replacing the fence and claiming the cost back from the driver’s insurance. However, they could not do the repair work until a road closure permit had been granted to close Old Ford Road. I spent many weeks chasing teams in the council, communicating with the CRT and meeting with the resident to share information and push for quicker action.
After weeks of waiting, the road closure was finally confirmed and CRT was able to start their repairs. After another few weeks, the repairs to the resident’s garden and fence were completed. After more chasing, the pavement and railings have also now been repaired and improved by the council (see photo below).
This has been a long and extremely difficult process, but I’m ecstatic that the repairs are now completed. Now that the immediate issues have been resolved, my attention turns again to long-term solutions to the safety of the bridge.