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Bonkers Blog January 2018

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31 January - Six little ones

The Loop Line
Old map Old mapThose of us a little worried by the prospect of no loop line train services (Abbey Wood to Barnehurst and Abbey Wood to Crayford) under the new railway franchise arrangements might be a little reassured by the appearance this week of a new map at Abbey Wood station.

The old and the new are pictured here. Both Bexleyheath and Sidcup services are back.

Bexley’s digital future
FibreThere was a brief reference at the Cabinet meeting on Monday to Bexley Council seeking money for their plans to improve the borough’s digital infrastructure. This is good obviously even though it will not directly serve residents. Today the Council has issued a Press Release on the subject.

Fibre broadband is thus added to the list of recent direction changes by Bexley Council. Late in the day they have recognised that broadband services are very important, along with Thames Crossings and
better rail services, both things they turned their back on in the past.

Without those things their Growth Strategy will not succeed. There is a new Press Release on that subject too.

Harassment News
Mark LewisI met up with another journalist yesterday and I have been promised an article in the Press Gazette which is the journalists own trade paper. I will believe it when I see it.

Meanwhile I have been summoned back to Swanley police station. It is clear that they are not yet prepared to drop Councillor Fothergill’s allegation of criminal harassment.

Wilton Road, Abbey Wood
WindowI was sacked from my position as Secretary of the Abbey Wood Trader’s Association a week or so ago. It is slightly galling that the only time the two Councils took any notice of the problems in Wilton Road was when I said something about it here. I know I shouldn’t and it is what led eventually to my sacking but without that blog and the associated Tweets the Councils would probably still be doing nothing. I am however on balance pleased not to be closely associated with the AWTA any more, I will be able to speak more freely than before.

Last Sunday another shop window was broken and coincidentally the problems are being highlighted on Facebook again.

In my opinion nothing will change, the shops will gradually wither and die while the demographic changes. When Abbey Wood becomes totally gentrified and its character has totally gone Wilton Road may fill up with posh coffee shops and restaurants. Until then it is probably doomed.

The Nuxley Navigator
ChariotThere was a consultation on running on-demand mini-buses in London only a couple of months ago and already TfL have given the idea approval.

The Ford Motor Company subsidiary Chariot will run rush hour shuttle services from Carlton Road in Erith to Abbey Wood station using converted Transit vans. Apparently it can be pre-booked using a mobile app and the fare is likely to be £2·40. If you can park your car for free somewhere along its route that will save a pound over the cost of parking at Abbey Wood station. Is it worth the aggravation?

Some reports suggest the service started on 29th January.

Contingency plans?
The word Capita did not pass any Cabinet Member’s lips last Monday; perhaps it should have done.

Bexley shifted all its Council Tax collection duties over to Capita in 1996. My contact with them has been minimal, they wrote to me once asking for some details of something or other and I ignored them on the grounds I had no contract with Capita and they had no business getting in contact with me. Somewhat to my surprise I won that argument. Few things would give greater pleasure than seeing the much despised Capita go belly up. Shares down 40% today, where Carillion goes one day Capita can go the next.

Will Bexley Council issue another of their Press Releases to assure us the matter is in hand?


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