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Bonkers Blog March 2014

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21 March - An accident waiting to happen

I am going to give in. Give in to the requests for comment on the recent accident at the Trinity Place roundabout that is. When I first heard of it I considered it to be unremarkable, there have been accidents there before, this time a vehicle had run into the back of a motorcycle that had stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. The difference was that this accident found its way on to the News Shopper’s website and has been subject to much comment. Nearly all of it unsympathetic to Bexley council. “Whoever came [up] with the new design for Bexleyheath should be sacked. It’s madness” being typical.

A Bexley council spokesman would not accept that their road design may have contributed to the accident preferring to blame the motorist. “If a stationary vehicle is hit from another vehicle behind, it is normally the person driving the moving vehicle, rather than the road they are on, that is to blame.”

That statement may well have some truth to it but the road looks like a roundabout until you raise your eyes to read the signs which announce a T junction. And although the road surface at the exit points are reminiscent of a Zebra crossing legally it is not, although if you look at the footpath mounted signs it is a sort of pedestrian crossing.

A flashing nine foot high beacon would warn approaching motorists that there is a possibility they may have to stop abruptly. A two foot high sign hidden by the vehicle in front doesn’t.

Bexley council will never accept blame especially in a newspaper report. It wasn’t their fault when the News Shopper reported a lady had died when Bexley failed to adequately staff its emergency centre. “Our lack of response was not a factor in the death” was Bexley’s callous response. Again that may be true but she didn’t have to die alone, that was due entirely to failures by Bexley council’s senior managers.

Trinity Place Trinity Place Trinity Place Trinity Place

Bureaucrats are never likely to accept that they might occasionally get things wrong and certainly not after accepting awards for their expensive handiwork. The Broadway regeneration scheme won the ‘Excellence in Walking and Public Realm’ category at the London Transport Awards just a few weeks ago and the judges said it was “well-thought out and comprehensively transformed Bexleyheath shopping centre”.

The award was presented to project directors David Bryce-Smith and Ashis Choudhury who were assisted by Bexley’s road design team, Dimitri Araj, Andrew Bashford, Dave Green, Rupert Cheeseman and Ken Woodhead. Why are we still employing these people after councillor Peter Craske handed £4 million pounds to the transport consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff? Wasn’t that supposed to reduce the number of road planning disasters in Bexley? I wonder what we ever got out of Parsons Brinckerhoff apart from a couple of abusive emails.

Note: Will non-English speakers know what the words ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ mean?


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