Broadmead Road red signpost saying Road Closed

Broadmead Road closure affects High School students travel

High School students’ travel to and from school is being significantly affected due to Broadmead Road’s closure.

The road located over the central line has been closed since July because of serious structural issues and to prevent potential loss of life or injury.

Yellow sign post explaining closure of Broadmead Road.
Redbridge Council Sign Post: explaining why Broadmead Road is closed, taken by Esther Okusaga

Some students and staff members from Woodbridge High School are now having to leave home at least one hour earlier to get to school on time.
Woodbridge High School building
Woodbridge High School: A secondary school located near Broadmead Road, taken by Esther Okusaga

Jeremy Clifton, Deputy Headteacher of Woodbridge High School said: “We have children coming in late they are really flustered and not ready for the day and that’s a problem.

“The issue is some of these children are traveling from Walthamstow or Highams Park, they are having to leave at least an hour earlier in the morning which is a real challenge for them actually.”

picture of deputy headteacher of Woodbridge High School
Jeremy Clifton: Deputy Headteacher of Woodbridge High School, picture given to Journalist by Jeremy

The 275 bus that comes straight from the top of Broadmead Road is no longer an option for them as Redbridge Council has decided no heavy vehicles are allowed on the road.

Now it takes the students 20 minutes away from the bus stop outside Woodbridge.

Clifton said: “The knock-on effect for some of the kids is actually sometimes the bus doesn’t stop, it just goes straight past them.”

The Council has commissioned surveys to find out the extent of the structural issues and when they can reopen the road.

However, due to the road being located over the central line track it means an investigation has to be conducted alongside TFL.

Engineers only have one and a half hours per night when the track is not in use to work.

The longer the road stays closed, the more it affects both the children and staff at Woodbridge who have no choice but to make it work.

There is also concern for the students’ safety after they have finished school.

Clifton said: “One thing that perhaps people don’t think about is at the end of the school day we manage the bus stop, we make sure they get on safely.

“I’ve got a finite number of staff and I am trying to deploy them as quickly as possible.”

Clifton lives on the other side of the bridge and now bikes into school which takes him a couple of minutes, but is sympathetic towards the teachers who have had to change their routines.

Clifton said: “The road closure feels like it has divided the community in half, I know people can use the North Circular or can go through George Lane but at certain times in the day that can be really tricky.”

Although the Council is working closely with TFL for a solution, reopening the road will require extensive construction work and it is unclear how long this will take.

Woodbridge is still strict on attendance, especially as the year 11s are currently doing mocks.

Clifton said: “We are trying to get these kids to school on time no matter what, we’ve got year 11s doing mock exams who can’t be late.

“We can say to them ‘oh we understand’ but when it comes to public exams you have to be there and you have to be there on time.”

Mr Clifton hopes for more communication from the Council and for them to consider opening one lane so cars can go back on the road.

Redbridge Council is planning to issue an update in the next couple of days.

Featured image taken by Esther Okusaga

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