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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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13 January (Part 1) - The wrong sort of advice

LandslipThe landslip at Barnehurst has provided an interesting insight into what Abbey Wood might be like post-Crossrail.

Outside the peak hour a third of Abbey Wood’s Cannon Street train service passes through Barnehurst and yesterday all of that third was lost. So not only did the Bexleyheath line have no service at all but the North Kent line was at reduced capacity too.

I’m no railway expert but I could think of ways of mitigating the problems and today Southeastern must have done something similar because only one train an hour has been lost instead of two.

There is probably a line capacity problem too because additional longer distance services have been going non-stop through Abbey Wood which doesn’t usually happen.

Around eight o’clock this morning the roads to and from Abbey Wood station were very obviously more congested than usual, there presumably being an influx of commuters from the south.

NoticeAnother obvious new feature was people driving aimlessly in circles looking for somewhere to park. The station staff also remarked on the unusually high number of passengers.

When Crossrail offers an air-conditioned service to central London in half the time and at lower price than any other Bexley station (Zone 4 instead of Zone 5) the problems will become an everyday occurrence.

What was bad news for rail passengers proved to be a bonanza for Bexley council. Many a windscreen is adorned with yellow today.

In Abbey Road where Bexley council has very deliberately given no indication of where one may pay-and-display and where one may not a kindly resident had placed a warning notice.

Letter PenaltyPenaltyA letter in today’s News Shopper says that Greenwich does not enforce parking restrictions around Abbey Wood station.

Unfortunately it is not true, they are not as desperate to penalize offenders as Bexley Council is but once in a while Greenwich shows an interest in its eastern outpost.

The final picture was taken this afternoon in Wilton Road. Someone on the Greenwich side is in for an expensive shock when they return from work. Maybe he can sue Mr. Loftus.

Another big train story has been the ‘wrong sort of sunshine’ at Lewisham where the sun shining into the platform dispatch monitor prevented drivers from seeing whether it was safe to depart.

I’ve read a lot of comment on Twitter and in the press, even that supposedly up market rag, the Daily Telegraph, about if it is a genuine problem why doesn’t it happen every day as the sun reaches the critical elevation above the horizon.

Whoever said that obviously has no idea about astronomy. Neither do I but surely everyone has noticed that sun rise shifts around a bit every day which is why you get strange effects like the sun shining straight down 42nd Street in Manhattan only twice a year.

If you want to criticise Southeastern trains criticise them for choosing a silly dispatch system that compels five coach trains to stop at the end of the platform and as far from the entrance as possible. Charlton up. Woolwich down, Abbey Wood up, Belvedere down, to name but a few.

Crossrail plans a radio link from platform cameras to cab. So when the sun is shining, yet another reason to use Abbey Wood and not the Sidcup or Bexleyheath lines once Crossrail comes along.


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