Council Leader praises emergency response after bridge partially collapses in Mitcham

The Leader of Merton Council has praised the response from the council and its partners after a bridge partially collapsed in Mitcham.

On Friday night, the bridge, on the A217 Bishopsford Road / London Road near the junction of Riverside Drive in Mitcham, partially collapsed, causing damage to a gas pipe and water main.

Council staff arrived on the scene quickly and remained there around the clock, from 8pm on Friday until Sunday afternoon, coordinating two responses alongside the council’s partners, including the Environment Agency, Conway, Thames Water, UK Power Networks, Southern Gas Networks, the police, fire brigade and BT.

The first of the two responses was the emergency response, which involved evacuating around 100 residents from their homes in the middle of the night as a precaution, while the utility companies worked to restore gas and water supplies. By Saturday evening all evacuated residents, who had been staying with friends or family, had been able to return to their homes. Power and water had been restored to all but a few homes by Saturday night and the remaining properties were reconnected on Sunday.

Running alongside the emergency response, was the response to the partial collapse of the bridge. Council officers worked alongside engineers and the utility companies to assess the damage and work out how to stabilise the bridge, which reopened to pedestrians and cyclists on Sunday morning.

The cause of the partial collapse is being investigated.

Council Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “Our staff worked around the clock over the weekend with the council’s partners to get residents back into their homes and power and water supplies restored to dwellings as quickly as possible. I would like to thank everyone who played a role in the emergency response as well as those involved in assessing the damage to the bridge and stabilising it, so that pedestrians and cyclists were able to cross the bridge.”