In about a month’s time this grubby staircase from Harrow Manorway to Gayton
Road will be the only route to Abbey Wood station for those who travel from
north of the railway line on foot or by bus.
Within the past month I have seen men exchanging packets for cash on the lower section and a man ridding himself of an excess of beer in another dark corner.
Bexley Council has encouraged such behaviour by not bothering to fix the street lights which failed at least three months ago, probably four. None of them work on the eastern side of Harrow Manorway and only about half on the other side. The result is that the upper part of the staircase is completely dark at night.
Now Network Rail has made things worse.
They have covered the handrail with a fence (Photo 2) making it even more dangerous than it was before.
You may think I am making this up but the first user I saw trying to get down, a lady who said she lived in Fendyke Road, had lost the use of her right arm and Network Rail has effectively taken away the left hand handrail.
It doesn’t have to be like that, the lower section manages to accommodate both a fence and a handrail. (Photo 1.)
The London bound North Kent line was realigned yesterday with the finishing touches being applied today. Moving the existing track was made to look very easy with a lot of specialist tools. As one passer-by said to me this morning, “they have done an amazing job”.
Another observer, seeing me busy with a camera, commented that “the newsagent told me that the best Crossrail photos are on Bexley is Bonkers, I’m going to take a look. You should look too”. I didn’t like to say anything but there is another 96 if you wish to take a look at the last week's work.
Index to all Crossrail blogs and photo features.
With thanks to various railway company employees for information, tip offs about photogenic events and patience with having lenses poked in their direction.