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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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15 March (Part 2) - Not every journey matters. © TfL

Choices, choices. An invitation to a pub quiz? No there will be another one next month. Sadiq Khan speaking at Crook Log? (How apt!) Not a lot of point, that’ll be all over the web later and he’ll only blame someone else for his failings. Bexley’s Transport User’s Sub-Committee? It will have to be that; if I don’t go absolutely no one will know what goes on there and it is usually interesting.
Councillors Khan
The decision was made, Councillor Clark’s meeting it had to be.

It’s not a meeting where I go overboard with the photography. One or two shots to prove I have been there and put the camera away. Yesterday the shutter button was pressed twice as the meeting started which earned me a minor telling off from the Chairman. I hadn’t waited for her to grant permission for photography.

It is about time that someone told her she has no choice in the matter courtesy of the laws brought in by Saint Eric Pickles in 2013.

Maybe I will take my long lens along next time to make the point.

The meeting was one of two halves; a three quarters of an hour session on railway matters and then a quick run through school transport, police matters, bus performance, road safety and road works.

The non-railway matters were quick because the Youth Council people failed to show up, the Police South East Traffic Team failed to show up, the Police Safer Transport Team were AWOL and Transport for London were presumably lost in transit. Chairman Clark said the TfL non-attendance was “deplorable”.

Cabinet Member Peter Craske didn’t look well; always highly coloured, this time he bore a passing resemblance to a raw steak. He spoke for three whole minutes early on, somewhat incoherently to my mind, and then promptly waddled out banging the door loudly and was never seen again.

I do hope he is well, maybe he went off to do battle on our behalf at Crook Log.

Bus stop Bus stopCouncillor Clark is probably right about TfL; if they cannot even get the routes on a bus stop right what hope is there?

The brand spanking new stops shown here are right outside Abbey Wood station, Photo 1 is on the southbound side and Photo 2 is for buses to Thamesmead. Where has the B11 gone?

The clue is in the location notice. The second bus stop should not be there at all, marked ‘Lensbury Way’ it belongs outside Thistlebrook. The B11 doesn’t stop there.

With no TfL staff present it was left to a Bexley Council officer to say a very few words about buses. I learned that not only has route 486 had its frequency reduced, eight minutes to ten minute intervals Monday to Friday, twelve Saturdays and 15 on Sunday, the journey time has been stretched by twelve minutes.

Councillor Borella (Labour, Slade Green & Northend) said he had the impression that the 486 bus sometimes skipped the Clock Tower in Bexleyheath because the due time simply disappeared from the display.

Route B14 which is Bexley’s worst performing bus has if anything got slightly worse. TfL are still looking for an extra vehicle but the type required is “not readily available”.

The cycling man never once switched his microphone on so I am not sure what he said; not a great deal but I did hear something in relation to hired bikes that it was easier to go down hill than up. Bexley Council’s cycling expert suggested that electric hire bikes might fix that problem.

Bexley’s killed and seriously injured statistics compare quite well with London as a whole but it is possible that their position as third greatest improver may have something to do with being not very good in the recent past. Car and pedestrian accidents of all severities are all trending upwards.

It continues to be very difficult to recruit school crossing patrols, currently there are three vacancies.

We heard that Yarnton Way in Thamesmead is becoming an accident blackspot which will surprise no one who lives nearby. I have personally encountered drivers who will take a short cut around the wrong side of a roundabout.

Chairman Clark was scathing about the way parents park while dropping off children at school, sometimes turfing them out into the middle of the road. Every one of us out at the right time will have seen the same.

Continuing road works mainly concern Abbey Wood. Gayton Road will be blocked for four weeks in April and on the other side of the railway work on Felixstowe Road will commence after Easter, The station lifts will be taken out of service for anything between six and ten weeks dependent on whether you listen to Network Rail or Bexley Council.

Work at the three ‘gatewaysְ’ to Bexley Village continues and a new Zebra crossing will be installed in Halfway Street Sidcup. When? No one said.

Fortunately the 45 minutes spent on railway matters was much more productive. Full report during the coming weekend.

Wilton RoadNote 1: This time last year Bexley was covered with snow and very few buses were running. This was because a recent idiotic rearrangement by TfL had based many of Bexley’s buses in Dartford where they were blocked in by snow drifts. Moves may be afoot to remedy that situation. Arriva has made an application to operate from 185 Manor Road, Erith. As many as 50 buses could be stationed there.

Note 2: I asked my local Councillor how vehicles would get back out of Wilton Road when it is temporarily blocked at the station end and made two way. Her enquiries revealed that a turning circle would be provided. It is hard to see how such a thing would be possible. At busy times vehicles might back up and block Wilton Road to the extent that no one will be able to get out again.


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