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Bonkers Blog November 2016

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19 November - Joined up thinking on rail and road

Not much of a blog today because I am going to Richmond and on to Twickenham. No trains from Abbey Wood. No connection from Plumstead to Waterloo for the Richmond service and no District Line from Cannon Street. I shall be lucky to do it in under two and a half hours.

I had a visit from Thames Water this week, they had noticed that when they fitted meters at the beginning of this year they missed me out.

I am not the only Bexley resident to get a visit this week from my least favourite utility company - dreadful company - as this message from an address in the middle of Bexleyheath relates.

WaterI’ve discovered a way of totally avoiding parking fines even when parking on single yellow lines, double yellow lines, parking with two or more wheels on the pavement where it is not allowed, parking outside the designated bays of a controlled parking zone, not telephoning to pay when parking in a designated bay and I am sure Bexley Council would come up with a sixth motoring infringement if it were you or me - breathing with the lights off perhaps.

The way around being issued with penalty charge notices is to don an orange suit, get a white van and paint a Thames Water logo on its side. Such a van has been parked in various places in my road all week committing all the above offences but Bexley Traffic Enforcement Gestapo have taken no interest.

Should you or I have a builder in to do work it is a dead cert that within five minutes of them stopping their van outside to drop off materials or equipment, traffic enforcement will be hassling them if not actually issuing a PCN. They will then be required to take their van out of the Controlled Parking Zone at great inconvenience or pay through the nose to park - either way adding to the cost of the job for the householder.

My own visit from Thames Water was more satisfying. When my house was built the developer laid a footpath in the wrong place. It was removed later but not before Thames Water had come along and fitted all the stop cocks. Only my stop cock was affected but it left it in my front garden rather than on the public highway. That is how I came to be omitted from the meter fitting programme.

The TW man said that as a matter of policy they did not install meters on private land but they could fit one inside a private house. Strange logic but I knew they couldn’t and after they inspected the plumbing they agreed. So no water meter for me.

However they offered to change my tariff to the average of metered households the same size as mine. I thought that a pretty fair offer. Maybe I was influenced by the prospect of my bill falling to less than half of what it is now.


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