A new helical staircase decorates the northern downstream side of London Bridge. The metal structure is officially opened today, improving access between the bridge and the riverside walkway below.
It's a neat and tidy affair, curving with a grace and sparkle otherwise lacking in the 1970s concrete span. Handrail LEDs will twinkle in the night. An information board on the top turn gives a very brief history of the various bridges that have crossed the river here.
Remember the old steps? They were the only part of the bridge with any real character — a dark, grimy place, where the wash of the Thames would smack against the concrete with some of the menace of old London. You could get down to the foreshore here. No more. According to the City of London, the old steps will be demolished. They suffered from 'a poor environment which can cause antisocial behaviour issues'.