According to Bexley council the traffic disruption in and around Bexleyheath will be much reduced within the next ten days as traffic circulation is allowed to revert to normal but anyone who passed along Broadway this morning will have noticed that there is a great deal of work left to do.
About half the road surface is now replaced with patterned cobbles but some sections are still untouched apart from the removal of the kerb stones. I suppose that given enough labour, and there was no shortage of it this morning, anything is possible but if it isn’t done by the end of the month how could it be completed without disrupting the traffic flow again?
The roads were not as empty as the photographs imply, two sets of temporary traffic lights and the new pedestrian crossing close to ASDA were causing long gaps in the traffic flow.
In my opinion, the finished article doesn’t look anything like as good as the artist’s impression. To me the white cobblestones look grubby covered as they are already with a layer of ingrained rubber but with luck that will tone down the glare that might be experienced if we ever get another sunny day.
Pedestrian safety will be interesting to watch. As I stood on the roadside taking photographs a bus moving from the left to the right hand carriageway encroached on the red road margin and caught me unawares. A moment’s inattention will spell disaster. I heard one young mum and her son, and separately an elderly couple, both use the word ‘stupid’ to describe the new arrangements. Fingers crossed the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages but I am beginning to wonder what the advantages are beyond aesthetics.
The number of people working hard in hi-vis jackets were almost outnumbered by those wearing yellow and purple rosettes. UKIP was in town. I stopped to have a word with them as did quite a lot of other passers by. My interest being to try to extract a bit more info on what their policies for Bexley might be, apart from what was in their leaflet.
One would-be candidate said he was keen to relax the parking restrictions as it was counter-productive for the local economy. I think we can assume that a short free parking period is favoured for shopping centres because UKIP recognise the hardship imposed by Peter Craske during his reign of terror. Maybe councillor Gareth Bacon’s parking review will have something to say about that.
It’s not a new idea, council leader Teresa O’Neill said it was worth looking at when she fielded questions at the Boris Johnson road-show in July 2011. The difference is that O’Neill had no intention of taking the question away for consideration and the UKIP guy seemed dead keen on implementing it.
The facsimile of the UKP leaflet featured here has been Photoshopped to fit the available space. Click it to read the real thing.