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Bonkers Blog December 2009

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10 December - And some answers

The pavement in Abbey Road was marked out with a central dividing line today in the hope that cyclists will behave themselves. I doubt they all will, the first cycle I saw using it was in fact a motorcycle which sped along the path and turned into Carrill Way. Before all this unwanted work was done I asked Andrew Bashford (Team Leader Traffic Projects) how he planned to prevent alighting bus passengers stepping straight into the path of a cyclist. It was one of several things he couldn’t answer although buried somewhere in my files there is something about ‘pedestrian priority at bus stops’.

The ‘priority’ as far as one can tell from today’s white-lining activity, is to have no dividing line at all at bus stops and a general free for all. Very intelligent I’m sure, and well up to Bashford’s usual standards.

Rupert Cheeseman (Bexley Engineering Services) emailed me today about the traffic lights that spent the night guarding nothing two weeks ago. As became clear after my initial enquiry this didn’t seem likely to be due to anything other than contractor’s bad judgment and not something that Rupert could easily have prevented. He apologised in a friendly manner that my email had taken so long to reach him.

At 1.30 this afternoon I spotted the gestapo car getting ready to spy on Gayton Road (adjacent to Abbey Wood station) and I asked the young lady what she was going to do and was told the same story (blog 28 February) given to me by Graham Ward. She was spying on people stopping at the bus stop. She wasn’t interested in those stopping on ordinary yellow lines. I pointed out that occupying one of only six parking bays in Gayton Road was to some extent encouraging people to park outside the bays but I didn’t get an answer to that one. The gestapo car was still there (but blocking a different bay) when I returned just before 6 p.m. while cars were struggling to find a place to pick up commuters.

I think it would make more sense if the gestapo car parked on a yellow line or even on the wide pavements, but then I have seen application of what I might consider common sense, held up as being wrong. Does anyone know what benefit accrues from this activity other than it being a nice little earner? I can’t believe anyone would park at the bus stop under the eye of the council’s spy van but I did hear of someone who got ‘done’ there because traffic congestion caused him to stop in the wrong place. Probably that is what their game is.

So that’s two people associated with Bexley council I’ve ‘spoken’ to today who were open and friendly - even though one was being forced to follow the gestapo’s orders. Better than being ignored or fobbed off, or lied to as was in danger of becoming the norm.


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