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Bonkers Blog April 2014

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27 April (Part 2) - Jam today, more jam tomorrow

A man who lives near the Bowling Alley roundabout which most people find they cannot safely navigate reckons I missed a trick with my report; well I don’t like to make them too long and he is right when he speculates I don’t use Albion Road at busy times. His local knowledge allows him to list more danger spots than I noted…

Many Albion Road drivers travelling towards Welling (unless stopped by the pedestrian crossing lights as they approach the Townley Road roundabout) do not even consider slowing down. The huge corner kerb radii coupled with the built out central reservation kerb line and the clear line of sight encourages some drivers to accelerate to see how fast they can cross the roundabout. I have witnessed many near misses.

Based on my daily observations and some common sense I could design a far safer roundabout without charging the council any of its Highways Dept. fantastic salaries.

As your photos show the vast majority of drivers at the Bowling Alley car park, after perhaps trying to follow the lane marking once or twice, just give up and use both lanes.

The magic roundabout [Trinity Place] about which much has already been said demands that drivers are fond of playing Russian roulette.

Restricted width Old viewSomething you have not mentioned (and perhaps it is not a problem at the times of day you normally travel this route) is the deliberate narrowing of the exit from the magic roundabout towards Welling. If there are road works or some other blockage towards Crook Log, the queue of vehicles can easily extend back to the magic roundabout and into Albion Road.

Vehicles wishing to go into Church Road used to be able to go around the outside of this queue then turn right into Church Road and away from the congestion.

Next time you travel the route look at the island on the exit from the roundabout and you will see that it has been deliberately widened to stop vehicles coming around the outside to get into the Church Road turn right lane. The Church Road turn right lane can be empty but vehicles cannot get there because of the unnecessarily wide island. I cannot see any logical reason for this but then again logic is an alien concept to Bexley’s Highways Dept.

Does any sane person think that humps are really necessary in the narrow confines of Church Road? There is often a queue of vehicles waiting to get out on to the Broadway and on the other side lorries are delivering to the Volunteer public house. It really doesn’t need humps as well to slow traffic.

Then you come to the mini painted roundabout at the junction of Church Road and Belvedere Road. If you make any attempt to go around it then you are probably the only person who does. From my observations everybody just ignores it and drives over it. It’s a waste of paint.

O'NeillI remember when I owned a car with a bit more performance than the little runabout I have now and Bromley council installed a chicane in Crofton Lane which I was using weekly at the time. It was almost impossible to resist speeding up for the fun of it. I was far from being alone and Bromley council soon removed it, they learn from their mistakes instead of repeating them as Bexley does. They open up bottlenecks to, Bexley constructs as many as it can as Photo 1 above just about shows. (Click to enlarge.)

And as for the reason for speed humps in Church Road, I doubt the Highways Department had any say in the matter. Someone must have forgotten who lives there.



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