'Inconvenient' Stroud Green bridge fences FINALLY removed after eight months
PUBLISHED: 12:57 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 26 November 2019
The "inconvenient" fences under Stroud Green bridge were finally removed yesterday - eight months after they were first installed.
Islington Council erected fences on both sides of the pavement below the bridge on March 12 to carry out light works and "pigeon proofing".
Network Rail then spent eight weeks painting Seven Sisters Road bridge and Stroud Green Bridge. All works are now completed.
Islington's housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward told the Gazette: "It was very inconvenient having fences up but safety has to come first. I'm really pleased they are down."
He said council workers will be doing daily cleans under the bridge this week.
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Cllr Ward added: "I'm very proud to say we have helped over 40 people from under the bridge into safe accommodation in the past two years.
"There is a genuine issue with drug dealing in the Finsbury Park and Stroud Green Road area and you have dealers praying on vulnerable people in the community."
He said the Met Police and Isilngton's outreach teams are working to tackle this issue.
Jon Glackin, coordinator of grassroots outreach group Streets Kitchen, who previously blasted Network Rail for "dragging out" the works, said: "It was really dangerous before, people were coming from the train station drunk and pulling it [the fencing] down - and it wasn't homeless people [pulling the fence]."
He said there is "no real reason" to homeless people who previously slept under the bridge to return owing to the effectiveness of Islington and Haringey's outreach teams.
Jon added: "To their credit, Islington and Haringey are working really hard to get people into accommodation. I know for a fact there's a couple of people down there begging, but I know they have somewhere to go. There's a drug problem down there, no doubt about it.
"But with the homeless problem Islington and Haringey are addressing the issue."