Keith Prince AM: Anniversary of 'temporary' flyover
Having been born and bred in Havering and Redbridge, I remember Gallows Corner being erected by the Royal Engineers. It was a "temporary" measure with a design life of 15 years, but this year it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
This is not something to celebrate. This structure was never intended to be last beyond 1985, and the fact it still stands in 2020 shows how the flyover's guardians have failed to see outer London as a priority.
As the London Assembly Member for Havering & Redbridge, I invited Sadiq Khan to visit Gallows Corner in 2016 to press upon him the need for a new flyover. He came down and promised to do something about it. However, after four years little has been done.
I was told it was too expensive to replace the flyover. Ideally, we would replace the flyover with a Y shaped structure with enhanced pedestrian and cycle crossings costing around £150 million and £50 million respectively.
After dither and delay from the Mayor's office, I turned to the Government who announced a new scheme whereby Local Authorities could bid for £50 million packages for schemes just like Gallows Corner. Julia Lopez MP helped by getting the then Secretary of State to agree to TfL being able to put in a bid.
Thirty-five years too late, we are getting closer to replacing the flyover, but without a new Mayor who is willing to invest in outer London, I fear we will not be able to raise the money needed.
Article by Keith Prince AM first published in the Ilford Recorder.