Does anyone have any information as to why the stairs on our new pedestrian footbridge at Wilmer Way, Bowes Road (NCR) junction have had the stairs closed for over a month now?

We heard that someone had jumped from the stairs?

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The issue of the North Circular Bridge has been picked-up from this website - by the local press and featured in an Enfield Advertiser article - you can read an online version here,

Dear Richard

Thanks for this and good for Alan to raise the issue in the local media.

I was passing again yesterday and after a full week of both schools being back, still nothing has been done. It struck me what a huge discrepancy there is between the feverish activity taking place right next to the bridge on Wilmer Way, where dozens of people are busy constructing a 5-storey block of flats that local people didn't want - and three yards away someting simple that parents are desperate to get fixed lies untouched. The world is upside down.

Preaching to the converted mate! But kinda missing the point. Yasemin has for instance been on TFL for weeks to fix this. And the response has been...? Trust me, I don't think it's rocket science either. And re: pedestrian safety, hell that's been TFL's leitmotiv all along (see refusal to change Brownlow junction). It's a mystery...

I emailed TFL a month ago their response was that they were in dispute with the bridges designers/engineers. I also complained about the rubbish build up (why the bin is behind the fences at ollerton rd end?) and this was cleared up but is building up again.... Much like the sorry state of the rest of this new stretch of A406 - as in general litter & sorry state of the roadside planting.

Agree though action is required soon with school starting - it's hard to expect Bowes kids to understand road safety when daily I watch Broomfield kids walking across the A406 along this stretch. Maybe time to argue for central reservations again?

Dear Nick

Thanks for your helpful posting. Absurdity is piled upon absurdity. Any dispute between two large organisations will cost thousands of pounds in salaries and waste time, which also costs hidden money which is not charged to the two organisations but is extracted from all of us incrementally (like the cost of uncompleted roadworks is extracted from delayed commuters, not councils). For a tenth of the money they are wasting, this simple physical issue could be remedied. Where is the common sense approach?

Could you please give me the TfL email address you used? I am in cage-rattling mode.

Thanks, Geoff


Inspired by this thread ( and as a regular user of the bridge) I 'contacted' TfL using the following route: TfL website, scroll to bottom, select 'help & contact', select 'make a complaint', select 'streets', select 'tunnels and structures', enter the info. Kafka eat your heart out. The text of my complaint was as follows in case useful:

"The recently installed bridge at the junction of Bowes Road and Wilmer Way has a fault.  There seems to be an issue with some of the bridge's structural pins. As a result the stairways of the bridge have been closed for some time.  Because of the length of time that the stairways have been out of use and the close proximity of local schools, school children are starting to cross the North Circular without using proper crossings.  They are in danger and the school term starts now.  Can TfL please prioritise remedial works to bring the stairways back into use over and above any contractual dispute that is preventing remedy."


Wow Matthew that's great. I will follow the same route but use my own words (I will try to match the polite-yet-serious tone of yours).

Thanks for adding your voice!


I used the smart route, you will get standard reply stating you will hear from them within a specific time...

Hopefully it will be fixed in time for all the people living in the new flats so they can cross over to get to their cars parked in ollerton road seeing as there is no parking available...

I first posted the question back in April and the bridge stairs had already been out of commission for a month, Six months later I thought this thread had gone dead but all of a sudden interest has been renewed.

One of the pin in question has now either fallen out lost or sitting on a desk at TFL being used as a paper weight, probably for all the letters of complaint.

It deifies belief that this has not been addressed and litter is piling up on the stairs. Will it take a fatality on the NCR to spur TFL into action because by that time it will be too late!

I'd have to agree with you here Peter. By coincidence I received my response from TfL earlier this afternoon. There isn't much to share, save that apparently 'repairs to the stairs on this footbridge are ongoing, but that at this point in time there is no definitive completion date for these works. In the meantime the rest of the footbridge is operational and safe to use, with the ramps to this crossing remaining functional.' There is a contact number 03432221234 and the letter is signed by Daniel Itzcovitz, Customer Services Advisor (who else besides the front line fob-off team would have a number ending '1234' I wonder?). If anyone has any further ideas as to how to raise the profile of this issue I'd be glad to hear them. Seems a shame that a such a recent and expensive investment like this, made as part of a scheme that majored on road safety, should be left in this state for six months.

Thanks Matthew for this. As part of my cage-rattling last week I contacted BHORA (Broomfield Home-Owners & Residents Assoc - everyone should join, only £4 per year sub) and they told me that David Burrowes MP had had a meeting with TfL about the A406 including the bridge. Although David's flag is not the same colour as mine (mine is rather Green, his is Blue) he responded instantly to my plea for renewed action - he is after all a Governor of Broomfield School, and if one of their students is killed trying to cross the N Circ, he will have to attend the funeral. I do trust him to have added his voice to the rising tide of disbelief that in 2014 an organisation like TfL with a budget of £9bn cannot slap some bolts and pins back in and glue them up. In this era of "pop-up community events" and "guerrilla gardening", I may reinvent myself as a "guerilla welder" and fix it myself, although I don't have public liability insurance. Alternatively, I am tempted to fabricate some large enamelled signs to hang all over the bridge saying THIS BRIDGE IS "MAINTAINED" BY TRANSPORT FOR LONDON with the Customer Services number appended below.

You could add “backed by the Mayor for London” as I seem to remember a picture of Boris Johnson I think with David Burrows standing on the old bridge by Bowes School.


Connecting the communities of Bowes Park and Bounds Green in north London.

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