An "important step" has been made to replace a 120-year-old bridge.

Blackhorse Lane Bridge has been closed to vehicles since August 2016 in an effort to address safety concerns held about the bridge.

Now a contractor has been appointed to not only replace Blackhorse Bridge, but also nearby Addiscombe Park Bridge.

Morgan Sindall was appointed as the preferred contractor, as it plans to have the bridges open to the public by January 2019.

The plans include making Addiscombe Park bridge two metres wider in order to incorporate a cycle path and improve facilities for cyclists, something Croydon Councillor Stuart King welcomed.

"These are essential works that will bring better, wider and safer bridges to serve local residents and the borough’s visitors for decades to come," he said.

"TfL and Croydon Council are working as hard as possible on this complex project to get the job done as quickly as possible.

"We will continue to keep local residents and businesses informed throughout the process.”

Construction of both bridges will start this summer.

London Trams will continue to operate during the majority of this period but may need to close for short periods during construction for safety reasons.

Pedestrian and cycling access will be maintained, although Blackhorse Bridge will need to be closed to all users for a short period when the bridge deck is removed and replaced.

General manager for London Trams, Rory O’Neill, said this was a step in the right direction.

“The appointment of Morgan Sindall as the preferred contractor is an important step in replacing this 120 year old bridge which is reaching the end of its natural life.

"Working closely with the London Borough of Croydon has meant that we can replace both Blackhorse Lane and Addiscombe Park bridges as a joint project, helping us construct them both quicker and more cheaply.

"We look forward to both bridges being open to the public in January 2019.”