I rather like going to the Transport Users’ Sub Committee meetings. I suppose
that they appeal to the Grumpy Old Man in me and the Little Boy all at the same
time. You get the police lamenting the behaviour of children on buses and how
shoppers engage in a mass exodus before school’s out and the invasion of Bexleyheath Broadway begins.
Then you get the Public Relations boss for Southeastern railway explaining away his company’s failings followed by a Network Rail guvnor telling us why he has not managed to organise his train set as effectively as he should have done. All good fun.
After that the Transport for London man explains why buses run late and miss stops and last night, even better, makes excuses for his cycling mad political masters which manage to sound both genuine and unconvincing all at the same time. Deputy Council Leader Alex Sawyer saw straight through it and responded with excruciatingly politeness while tearing the message into small strips. Sawyer at his best but like so many of them, shame about the company he keeps.
Then the icing on the cake. Bexley council excusing their latest set of road related cock ups. Even the accident rate is on the up. Not such good fun.
An added bonus is that it is the occasion for all three progenitors of Bexley is Bonkers to be gathered together in the same place. It happens nowhere else. The hapless Councillor ‘chicken run’ Davey (Conservative, Crayford - ex-Lesnes Abbey) who came up with the domain name by telling me that Bexley Council was bloody Bonkers - although he blamed it on his Labour forebears - and me of course.
The third reprobate is Andrew ‘bullshit’ Bashford who attempted to shut me up but instead created the incentive for Bonkers by claiming that his Abbey Road redesign was entirely in accordance with the Transport Research Laboratory reports Nos. 641 and 661.
He really is the unluckiest of men and I should perhaps buy lottery tickets because my son was at the time head of the TRL Department that issued those reports. It was not particularly difficult for me to get expert opinion that Andrew Bashford does not know his backside from his elbow - as anyone who looks at the progress the borough has made in the field of carriageway design in the past ten years could tell you.
The Transport Users’ meeting is a gripping affair, even Chairman Val Clark is keen to add to the sense of occasion.
Last night there were four members of the public present and the chairman welcomed three of them to the meeting. I hope they realised how honoured they are, but I am grateful; where would BiB be if it were not for a constant stream of silliness, pettiness and occasional criminality from Bexley council?
The end of the meeting was good too, more of a social club than for example the end of a Cabinet meeting. Two Labour councillors and one Tory discussing the state of their health and that of mutual friends. A few words exchanged with former Mayor Howard Marriner suggested, and not for the first time, that he might be a nice bloke if taken out of a political environment, but not so nice that he had not passed his nasty cold to his wife, the dirty rotten scoundrel.
More formal stuff on Friday with any luck but there is another meeting to attend this evening and another tomorrow and then I have to go to meet a man who knows a woman who knows an old lady who lived in a shoe, one that Maxine Fothergill was allegedly happy to buy at a knock down price. Should be even more fun than a Transport User’s meeting. If there is no blog by the weekend; send out a search party.