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Bonkers Blog December 2009

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18 December - A catalogue of errors - click any image for photo gallery (4 images)

We have woken up to the snow that has been forecast since before last weekend and for which there were severe weather warnings all day yesterday. Surprise, surprise there is no sign (at 06.45 and 07.30) that Bexley council has gritted the B213 route between Abbey Wood and Erith. Yet more proof, if it were needed, that our useless council is always willing to gamble with peoples’ lives. On the News Shopper website Greenwich council is quoted as saying “Main roads, public transport routes… are the main salting routes”. Bromley said it is “focussed on main roads, bus routes” etc. In Dartford they have been gritting all week but Bexley’s roads supremo, councillor Peter Craske, can only waffle on about having to be “flexible”. Presumably because he hasn’t got a plan.

The following photographs were taken and prepared for publication yesterday afternoon.

pedestrian_dangerSeveral times while Abbey Road was being rearranged to benefit cyclists I asked what would be done to protect pedestrians and alighting bus passengers and apart from a vague indication that pedestrians would have priority Andrew Bashford (Team Leader Traffic Projects) obviously didn’t have a clue. The photographs show what happens when you allow clueless bureaucrats to run amok in unaccountable positions of authority. Sandwiched between two bicycles painted on the footpath (one at the bottom of the photograph another at the road junction) you have tactile paving at the pedestrian crossing point (next to the nearest car) put there to reassure pedestrians, especially poor sighted ones, they can wait there safely. Thanks to barmy Bashford they cannot.

parking anomalyIn his dishonest consultation leaflet barmy Bashford promised residents that they would not suffer any loss of parking spaces and somehow forgot to pass on the advice he claimed to have followed which warned of consequential damage to parked cars. However when it came to marking out the road it became apparent that it was not wide enough to allow as much parking as before. There has already been an accident at this point.

The result is as shown. The parking bay stops short of where it used to be and as no revised parking orders have been issued the repainted yellow lines stop at their original positions. This gives rise to an anomaly within the Abbey Wood Controlled Parking Zone. We have a piece of road not subject to any parking restrictions whatever. You’d be a fool to park there of course as my extreme wide-angle lens makes it look like there is more room than there is. But if you fancy having your car squashed by a 229 bus, then this is the place to be.

Bus stop idiocyFor another piece of idiocy (or is it malicious design?) we have this bus stop overlapping and obstructing a pedestrian refuge. The layout increases the possibility of a child making the time-honoured mistake of dodging behind the bus to cross the road and being unseen by motorists going in the opposite direction and it also brings traffic to a halt whenever a bus stops there. This is almost certainly why it is as it is; Bashford is nothing if not anti-motorist and given to being influenced by cycling pressure groups and with a nice side-line of pouring millions of pounds of our money down the drain in the process.

Unfinished bollardWe’ve seen this one before, but months after the road was in all but minor respects, finished off - in every sense of the word - we still have bare cables poking out of the ground and a rough surface leading to the possibility of pedestrians tripping within a foot or two of speeding traffic, not to mention an unlit obstacle placed in its path. No one at Bexley council seems to give a damn for residents’ lives. Certainly not councillors dozy Davey and cowardly Craske who are the masterminds who sanction Bexley’s road fiascos.


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