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Bonkers Blog May 2018

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26 May (Part 1) - Blood on their hands?

Bashford CraskeDrivers doing sixty miles an hour or more along Abbey Road, Belvedere are the ones ultimately responsible for the frequent crashes to be seen there. There have been three walls lost in the past twelve months the latest at about 11:30 last night. However some blame must be placed at the door of Bexley Council.

In their enthusiasm for cycle tracks Bexley Council made a long straight section of road much narrower and ignored all the expert advice that it could only lead to more accidents. Instead they attempted to lie their way out of trouble.

Bexley’s road engineer Andrew Bashford falsely told me by email that he had redesigned the road wholly in accordance with Transport Research Laboratory recommendations. This is what he said…

“For your information, the Department for Transport’s recent document ‘Manual for Streets’ details that ‘Achieving appropriate traffic speeds’ can, in part, be carried out through ‘Psychology and perception’. Under this heading, it suggests a number of features that are likely to be effective, which include ‘reduced carriageway width’, ‘Pedestrian Refuges’, ‘edge markings that visually narrow the road’, and “on-street parking”; this coming from research by the T.R.L. (Report no 641 ‘Psychological’ traffic calming). The Manual also goes on to present the relationship between Average Speed, Forward Visibility, and Road Width. It can be seen that, if the forward visibility remains the same, Average Speeds have a direct relationship with Road Width; more detail information is in T.R.L. report 661.”

Presumably the plan was to blind me with science, those reports cost at the time nearly £200 each to buy. But I didn’t need to buy them. I invited their author down for a weekend to look at Bashford’s handiwork. My son was the Senior Safety Consultant at TRL and Chair of the European Union’s Committee on the subject.

His verdict, after I took him to look at Sidcup too, was whoever came up with the designs was incompetent or malicious but most likely both.

Another of Andrew Bashford’s emails confirmed that Abbey Road did not have a serious accident record, my son said the new layout was a recipe for collisions, and so it has proved.

Cabinet Member Craske failed to consult residents living close to the road and dismissed every single one of the objections made by those who stumbled across his plans. The self-appointed traffic expert knew better than the Chairman of a relevant EU Committee.

Abbey Road PAbbey Road Abbey Road Abbey Road

Abbey Road Abbey RoadAnother household has lost the garden they had carefully nurtured for more than 30 years. The lady is heartbroken and her gazebo lies flat on the floor as did her immediate neighbour’s just over a year ago. All because Bexley Council lied and would not listen to reason nine years ago.

Incompetence and lying to residents is presumably a much valued skill at Bexley Council. When Andrew Bashford emailed me several times in 2009 he signed himself Team Leader Traffic Projects. He is now Head of Highway Services.

The car pictured here is believed to be only consequential damage unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The driver responsible, according to affected residents, was in a stolen car.

And another! (10th July 2017.)


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