Merton Council is to name the bridge, currently known as Bewley Bridge, Colliers Wood, after the late ward councillor, Councillor Gam Gurung, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 53.
The council is due to start a programme of building and improvement works to the bridge following its successful bid for funding from Transport for London, The Wandle Valley Trust and transport charity Sustrans. Works to the bridge are due start at the end of February and the bridge is scheduled to be formally opened in June.
In memory of Councillor Gurung, who was a Gurkha soldier, a leading light in the Nepalese community in Britain for many years and a Colliers Wood ward councillor, soldiers from the Gurkha engineer unit will be drafted in to help contractors complete the work.
The bridge will join Wandle Meadow Nature Park with Bewley Street and a new cycle way will be installed alongside the walkway for pedestrians.
Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to mark the memory of a much missed colleague and friend who represented Colliers Wood residents and who was a major figure in the UK Nepalese community. It’s great to hear that this bridge will be ready for summer so that cyclists and walkers alike can benefit from it while they are out and about enjoying this part of the beautiful Wandle Valley Park. We will be keeping disruption to the nearby area to a minimum and thank everyone for their patience while we carry out the works.”
Widow of the late Councillor Gurung, Mrs Kabita Gurung, said: “This is a great honour. My husband loved his work as a councillor representing Colliers Wood residents and this is a lovely tribute to his memory. The entire Gurung familiy are all very proud of the legacy he has left and grateful to Merton Council for recognition of his service. Thank you.”
Notes to editors
During the works, there will be two weeks when seven out of 25 parking bays on North Road will be suspended to allow contractors to move about the site with the necessary building materials. The council will ensure signs are up on the bays a week before the period for which they will be suspended.