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Bonkers Blog August 2013

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4 August - Planning ahead

TweetTomorrow morning commuters will arrive at the £684 a year Felixstowe Road car park and find that Balfour Beatty has moved in. They will be preparing the site for use as a base for the construction of the new railway tracks and station at Abbey Wood. By mid-September the car park will be no more and stay that way for four whole years.

I know this because the site is only a few minutes walk from home and Steve Lord, Crossrail’s Communications Manager, does a first rate job of keeping all his ‘neighbours’ in the picture. Steve made himself available to answer questions at the recent Crossrail exhibition and his efforts have kept most people happy.

TweetThose living further away are beyond Steve Lord’s reach and might rely on Bexley council for information. Most will be totally ignorant of what is about to happen. All that Bexley council has managed is a Twitter notice and a web page quoting councillor Gareth Bacon; and a fat lot of good he is.

What’s all this encouragement that Bacon is talking about? South Eastern’s website will tell you there is no cycle storage available at Abbey Wood, although in fact there are half a dozen railway company provided racks offering no security in the street outside.

As for his remarks on Bexleyheath station, well you can’t expect Gareth Bacon to know about these things as he is given free travel as a perk of his GLA job, but while Bexleyheath is indeed in Fare Zone 5, Abbey Wood is in Zone 4, so his bright idea will add £5.40 to the cost of the peak hour return fare to London. What a waste of space that man is.

So Bexley council’s idea for helping people through a potentially difficult period is to put up a Twitter message and post an almost useless web page when what they should have done is reach out to the motorists who are in for an unpleasant surprise. You might therefore assume that Felixstowe Road car park has been festooned with warning notices so that those most affected are well equipped to make suitable rearrangements? Not a bit of it. Take a look for yourself…

Bexley Stables Slades Livery Vicarage Road Horse Transport

These are Saturday afternoon pictures. Quite obviously Bexley council has done nothing to warn motorists, who almost by definition will have come from beyond the immediate area, maybe from outside Bexley. The council urges Twitter reading motorists to plan ahead, but their own planning goes no further than a money making scheme to restrict parking in local streets and make what is left even more expensive. If you can find an on street bay it’s soon going to cost you £3·80.

Two years ago Bexley Tories claimed on their website that Labour didn’t know that Bexleyheath had a railway station - it was an outrageous lie. Now we know who the ignoramuses really are.


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