A bridge in Mitcham closed for eight years was re-opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Willow Bridge in Willow Lane which serves about 150 businesses and 2,500 employees on the Willow Lane Trading Estate, needed essential building work and was closed while repairs were carried out and funding secured.

There were celebrations on Friday, March 14, to mark the re-opening of the bridge, with Merton Council’s leader Stephen Alambritis cutting the ribbon.

The Business Improvement District for the Willow Lane Trading Estate (Willow BID) said it lobbied the council to fund the repairs as the closure of the route into and out of the estate caused inconvenience to those working on and visiting the estate, leading to increased journey times and unnecessary congestion.

A spokesperson added the damage to the bridge had been caused by large vehicles ignoring the weight restrictions.

Graham Willins from Willow BID said: "Having the bridge open again will have an immensely positive impact on the businesses, visitors and employees on the estate."

Merton’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: "The completion of Willow Lane Bridge will reopen one of the most important access roads to the largest trading estate in Merton.

"Through collaborative work with the Willow BID and Mitcham Common Conservators we have been able to create a safer and more attractive bridge with high-quality walking and cycle routes with links to the nearby train and tram stations."

The event featured presentations and invited guests enjoyed refreshments and speeches.