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Bonkers Blog May 2010

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7 May - Bus stop moved and Abbey Road congested - click any image for photo gallery (5 images)

Bus stop lifted Bus stop removed Bus stop reinstatedMost mornings I walk along Abbey Road around 7 a.m. but this morning I was 30 minutes early and I could hardly believe the amount of traffic using it. Westbound vehicles were nose to tail and those heading towards Erith were at a standstill due to buses not being able to pass each other on the narrowest sections; they wait for each other to clear the bottlenecks before proceeding due to the design errors made by Andrew Bashford.

Four hours later things had not improved and I looked for the reason. The News Shopper website told me that a lorry had overturned on Eastern Way, Thamesmead, blocking the junction with Yarnton Way. The situation wasn’t helped by Transport for London (TfL) who had unluckily chosen today to reposition the bus stop opposite Lesnes Abbey. Something made necessary by the almost unused cycle track foisted on us last year by Bexley council following its carefully rigged and dishonest consultation. So we had all the traffic from Eastern Way from about 5 a.m. and the road restricted to a single track due to the bus stop works and the lorry-mounted hoist that was needed to move it. I saw three 180 buses and a 401 in convoy all held up so I decided it might be worth photographing the unusual routing. Within minutes I had collected my camera and started snapping away at the half demolished bus stop and some of the buses.

I was then confronted by one of the TfL workmen who told me that photography in the street was forbidden. I told him it wasn’t. He then asked why I had not asked his permission to photograph him. I told him that was unnecessary in a public place and in any case I had been careful to ensure that no one would be identifiable in the photos. He then told me that it was illegal to photograph TfL staff. I told him he was wrong and suggested that if he thought it was he should call the police to report a crime.

Why is it that people in public service are almost always jobsworths who like to throw their weight around? Something to do with their lack of intelligence I suspect. As soon as I got home I loaded all the photos on to a web-server as a precaution but I didn’t expect to hear any more and I haven’t.

Additional photos and information is available by clicking any of the images. The 180 and 401 buses were still using Abbey Road at 3.30 in the afternoon.

At 6 p.m. Bexley council’s website was still reporting “counting in progress” for the local elections held yesterday.

Later… Pretty much unchanged. Labour have picked up the lone independent’s seat and another in Erith; the Mayor’s, Bernard Clewes. The Tories took one from Labour in Belvedere; that of Daniel Francis who wanted me labelled a vexatious correspondent back in 2000 when I queried the imposition of a bus lane which the council admitted did not satisfy the criteria for one. In Lesnes Abbey ward the lowest scoring Tory beat the Labour candidate by only six votes. One of them was mine!


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