Sky walkways close as Heygate work advances

Wed 19 September 2012, 4:23 pm

A further step towards the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle's Heygate Estate is set to take place this week with the closure of the last of its 1970s elevated walkways and bridges.

The move is in preparation for the estate’s demolition and the creation of some 2,500 new homes as part of the wider £1.5 billion Elephant & Castle regeneration.

Southwark Council said a “range of health and safety issues” had prompted its decision to close the estate’s remaining walkways, but that a brand new pathway at ground level had been created to replace them and create a safe environment for pedestrians.

The walkways were originally designed to clearly separate pedestrians from road users, but the pathways often proved awkward and led to people seeking more dangerous alternative routes.

Southwark Council leader said the pathways demonstrated everything that was wrong with the original design of the Heygate Estate.

“They seemed a good idea at the time but have proved difficult for people to actually use and tempted people into crossing a busy and dangerous road which had no pathway,” he said.

“The regenerated Elephant, in contrast, will make life easier, safer and more pleasant for the residents, cyclists and young families who live there or visit."