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Bonkers Blog April 2017

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Sadiq Khan

9 April - Sidcup in the sun. Belvedere beached. Wilton Road wrecked

Pictures from around the borough have taken a bit of a back seat recently, as usual time is the enemy. In Bexley there is rarely anywhere to safely park and the buses are so damned slow I now rarely use them. Official statistics show I am not alone in that.

However here are some pictures taken, with one exception, over the past few days.

Sidcup Sidcup The Rob Leitch Memorial Garden in Sidcup was looking particularly fine late last Friday afternoon. These pictures fail to do it justice, it will be better still with a bit more colour.

A quick walk along the High Street failed to reveal any obvious reason for the constant traffic congestion past the hospital and along Elm Road.


Splashpark Splashpark Splashpark Splashpark
Bexley Council’s plan for the former Splashpark in Belvedere wrecks the 100 year old water tradition on the site in what otherwise appears to be magnificent fashion. The first report that work had started on what is to be known as Belvedere Beach came two months ago but the photo taken on a dull February day revealed no sign of it, however this week Cabinet Member Peter Craske, no less, said that work had started.

If you count a Heras fence and the presence of a rubbish skip as a start then Councillor Craske is absolutely correct. However work is so little advanced that even the old Splash Park notice is still standing proudly two years after the last toddler dipped his toe into the alleged Cryptosporidium solution.

Lesnes LesnesThe report last month that the Lesnes Abbey café had opened for business was probably fake news although the man who told me was obviously convinced he had seen it open, however it definitely is now and hasn’t it been lucky with the weather?

The park was pretty busy last week and the café had at least a few patrons. I have no idea if a bacon sandwich really does cost £3·50 but I did notice that a banana was fifty pence.

And the toilets are open.


The public realm works in Wilton Road, Abbey Wood which began on 9th January were supposed to have been completed in eight weeks but I would put money on it taking twice as long.

Wilton Road Wilton Road The Greenwich side is already suffering from the hard sand surface being kicked up in places and the narrowness of the Bexley side has created an uncomfortable walking surface.

To provide easy disabled access to shop doorways the paving has been raised about three inches overall but the kerb remains as it always was. The unusually steep slope to the kerb gives rise to a one leg shorter than the other sensation when walking the length of the footpath. Some doorways are higher still and been provided with a ramp. They create an uncomfortable undulating surface for walkers.

It would have been better to have made the new shop fronts fit the new footway although the availability of the separate funds prohibited reversing the installation sequence.


Shutter ShutterA longstanding problem in Wilton Road (Bexley side only) has been that the roof rainwater is drained to the pavement and the steeper slope should solve the puddling problem. However last week someone decided that the down pipes would look better if boxed in.

This has barred access to the shutter securing bolts so that adjustments are no longer possible and adjustment is required because the undulating footpath means that the shutter no longer neatly meets the ground. It would be easy now to put a lever under a shutter and force it up.

And if that is not enough damage the Council’s contractor has bent a shutter and removed the enamel surface. I imagine an insurance claim will be going in to Greenwich Council first thing tomorrow morning.

 

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