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Bonkers Blog August 2010

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9 August - Alsike Road not closed after all - click any image for photo gallery (3 images)

Alsike Road Gully missingI don’t often use Alsike Road in Belvedere even though I can see it from home; it’s the wrong side of the tracks. However 31st July was an exception and I saw that every drain gully was missing and covered by a traffic cone. The following Monday I spoke to Tony Hughes at Bexley’s Works Direct about it and understandably he was more than a little upset by the loss of 30 gullies in one night (more in Greenwich apparently). It is certainly an appalling crime. I went to look again last Saturday and nothing had changed except that some cones were now down the drains rather than marking them. However nearly every lamp post was adorned with a notice from Bexley council saying that Alsike Road would be totally closed (licence valid 18 months from today) for drain “inspections”. Probably that is necessary but once again we see Bexley council taking the easy option and maximising public inconvenience (not forgetting the bus operator too) rather than exercise some traffic management skill - I fear I have answered my own implied question there!

Guessing that the road would be closed from dawn I went there soon after 7 a.m to find business as usual and the lamp post closure notices gone. It seems unlikely that the council would remove their notices over the weekend but perhaps it is significant that the bus stops did not say they were out of use. Maybe they never intended to close the road today but equally possibly it’s another Bexley council cock-up and they forgot to notify TfL. Meanwhile there are 30 open man-traps and vehicle wrecking holes in just one street.

Late in the afternoon I contacted Mr. Hughes to ask if he knew what was supposed to happen and when. He said the notices must have been removed by vandals and that the work had gone ahead today anyway. I took a look at 5.30 p.m. and there was no sign of any activity and no new gullies. I took another photo (see gallery) but did manage to find two Bexley closure notices in fairly obscure places. I suspect there must be a simple explanation, Mr. Hughes is not from the usual Bexley council mould and won’t be deliberately misleading anyone.

Following the incident with the No Entry sign where I saw a suspicious looking scrap truck nearby I now carry a small pencil and a scrap of paper in my back-pocket to note down the registration number. If we are to tackle this potentially life threating crime perhaps everyone should do the same.


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