closed for exactly
four months but the London Road/Bourne Road junction is open again. The closure must
have done untold damage to the businesses on the adjacent industrial estate.
It’s a bit off the beaten track for me but I have driven up Bourne Road from Bexley a few times and it’s always been the same. A queue at the T junction waiting for traffic heading towards Bexleyheath and all points west.
The junction is blessed with a huge amount of space for improvement so it came as a surprise to most people that Bexley council seemed to be creating another T junction little different to the old one.
Then yesterday, the Bexley Times, while reporting that the road had opened earlier that morning, referred to a roundabout. How could I have gone there several times and missed a blooming great roundabout was my first thought. How horribly embarrassing.
But I needn’t have worried; a lunchtime visit showed that the four months of chaos have produced nothing but a silly blob of white paint.
As the picture above indicates, there is no shortage of space in which to build an effective free flowing junction, but Bexley council didn’t want to.
At one o’clock in the afternoon there was little traffic about but in the morning peak, instead of having to wait for a stream of westbound traffic which has right of way you will have to wait for a stream of westbound traffic which has right of way. Progress Bexley style.
The white blob after only 36 hours use (according to the Bexley Times) bears the marks of traffic turning right but none heading towards Bexleyheath indicating that they are going straight over. Any turning motion would have left its mark.
There are indications of landscaping on the south side but cyclists are given little consideration, they are shunted back into the path of traffic as soon as they are around the bend. Photo 4 below.
It is no better on the other side of the road. They are probably not the shortest cycle tracks in the borough but they are both little more than a bus length.
The nearby Bexley Lane forms part of the rearrangements and it too presents a bit of a puzzle. If you exit it in anything larger than a saloon car you might find it difficult to turn right (Photo 7 above), and if you are a cyclist you are encouraged to go up a one way street the wrong way. (Photo 8.)
You don’t have to be mad to be part of Bexley’s road planning team but it certainly helps.
If you have forgotten what the junction used to be like, click the final image from Google Earth. Can anyone see what Bexley council was trying to achieve? To waste your money is not a valid answer.