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Bonkers Blog February 2013

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23 February (Part 2) - Railing at blocks, blockages and balls

I used to take a certain amount of pride in being able to say that I only visited Bexleyheath once a year; to pick up last minute Christmas bits. I’ve never seen the attraction of shopping, but now I find myself in or near Bexleyheath Broadway at least once a week.
Mayplace Road
This morning, apart from the queue in Mayplace Road West, traffic was flowing pretty well around the road works. The queue was disproportionately buses presumably because they cannot avoid the problem areas while car drivers can shop elsewhere. Certainly the pedestrian areas were remarkably empty at 11 a.m. and Albion Road was empty too so there would be no danger of getting stuck in a car park for three hours.

Last week someone took me to task for saying the realigned bend outside ASDA looks like leaving a massive paved area outside that shop. I’m not sure how that makes me an advocate of narrow pavements but anyone currently steering well clear of the area may wish to take a look for themselves.
The camera has exaggerated the width of the new road in the second photograph but it would appear that the footpath adjacent to ASDA will be increased by at least half the width of the old carriageway.

Just a short distance west of ASDA is Christ Church where not all is tranquility, sweetness and light among its parishioners since the council was allowed to extend its path to its main door. Initially the state of the iron railings after realignment was the subject of adverse comment. As I understand it the crudely welded alterations were not the work of Bexley council’s contractor and further work has improved matters somewhat.
There is still a problem with the baseline either side of the gate which is itself too high relative to the fence abutting its left side; and please do not look too carefully at the vertical spaces adjacent to the finials. All over the place might be an apt description. It might have been simpler to get the council to replace the lot, the changes were their idea after all.

I’m no metallurgist but I would guess that sitting the bottom of the railings directly on to the low wall will cause water retention and rust. The old way still visible to the right of the gate must be preferable.
Those balls strewn across the pavement don’t look too clever to me either. OK, they are unusual and prettier than most bollards but when someone trips over one and breaks a leg because they fail to meet the guidance notes for street furniture who should be sued? The clergy or the council? Just wait until the Friday night revellers discover that the balls stay in place only because they sit on a small metal spigot. An improvised lever will soon have them up and rolling down the street.

My inexpert eye cannot fault the council’s road construction. The blocks are not insubstantial and should look good - for a while at least.
It’s a sign of the times of course but these men were conversing loudly with each other and not a single one was speaking a language I could understand. They must have been frozen stiff.


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