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Bonkers Blog June 2019

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17 June - And about time too

Abbey RoadAbbey Road in Belvedere is a special place for Bonkers. Without it this website would never have been created. In 2009 Bexley Council took a perfectly good and accident free road and decided to make it much narrower. Narrow enough for buses not to be able to easily pass near the Abbey itself and narrow enough elsewhere to cause many accidents. (Report on just one of them.)

The justification by Cabinet Member Peter Craske and his Highways Manager Andrew Bashford were largely lies and obfuscation. I knew they were because they quoted two Transport Research Laboratory reports without realising that my own son had had a hand in their publication.

I naively thought that the lying must be a shameful one-off and made the details available on the web only to find a small deluge of comment to the effect that Bexley Council lying was the norm. Bexley is Bonkers was born.

Needless to say the road reconstruction job was not done properly and the pock marked road surface was retained. The ruts caused by buses and other heavy vehicles were in effect, on a narrowed road, moved much closer to the kerb.

They fill with water and drench pedestrians whenever ir rains. I have for many years refused to use it on rainy days preferring to use the car instead even for the shortest of journeys.

And now for the good news.

Ten years after Abbey Road should have been resurfaced the job is to be done.

MapThe section alongside St. Augustines’ Church was resurfaced three years ago and the section to the west of Lesnes Abbey was done more recently. Now it is the turn of the three quarters of a mile in between.

Work is scheduled to commence on 1st July and take two weeks - well it is quite a long stretch.

In full accordance with Bexley Council’s policy of ignoring the inconvenience caused to residents their letter bearing today’s date says “it will be necessary to impose a road closure”.

Exactly what that means is left unsaid but taken literally there will be times when many hundreds of homes will become inaccessible by road.

Presumably Abbey Road will have no buses for two weeks either.

As though this area has not suffered enough road disruption already but there is no denying that the road is badly in need of some loving care, it has had none for 30 years or more.

On the downside the surface is currently so poor that speeds are necessarily curtailed by the safety conscious, but sadly too many vehicles already pay little regard to Abbey Road’s speed limit.


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