Bexley Council now aims to wrap up the work on Harrow Manorway by the end of the year which will make completion a mere 18 months late. However it cannot be denied that is at last taking shape quite quickly now. The last section to require resurfacing was done overnight this week and when I drove into Sainsbury’s at 07:15 this morning (used car because it was raining hard!) a man in a van was tinkering with the non-functioning pedestrian crossing lights and when I drove out ten minutes later they were shining brightly. No longer will we have to wait several minutes for a gap in the traffic as I did the day before yesterday. (Photo 1.).
On the adjacent Felixstowe Road (completion date September 2019) the finished product is not looking at all like what we were promised. (Photo 3.)
Obviously the trees are missing but look more carefully. Granite paving has been replaced with asphalt and the promised shop parking is for Blue Badge holders only. Further away parking is for a five minute stop only.
The Z bend road is at the same height as the footpath and it leads straight towards the station lifts.
Last weekend I had an interesting discussion with a man who knows the physics (or is it mathematics?) of such things about what a driver can do to mitigate his problem if he hits black ice. (An owner of an electric car the same as mine who I know only through a Facebook Group had wrecked the rear of his vehicle by spinning it on black ice on a bend at, ahem!, 70 m.p.h.)
I don’t want to get too technical but the answer was basically “nothing”. Please don't stand by the Abbey Wood lifts for too long on a freezing day.
I extended the conversation to 20 m.p.h. speed limits. Local drivers will have noticed the new signs on Harrow Manorway.
I learned that low speed limits are being pushed by academics at a certain Northern university “who won’t be happy until all vehicles are brought to a standstill” and their advice based on data said to be flawed is seized upon by Councils keen to penalise motorists as much as possible. That will be all Councils.
There is no doubt that the lower the speed of impact the less the damage will be but the statistics do not currently lead real experts good enough to have contracts with the EU and the insurance industry to deduce that the number of injuries is reduced in 20 m.p.h. zones and there are signs that pedestrians begin to stop regarding roads as potentially dangerous. The comment which impressed me most is that nearly all pedestrian injuries and deaths are caused by pedestrians. I think the figure quoted was 4% of accidents involving pedestrians are the fault of a driver and excessive speed played a part in only a tiny minority of them.
But when was a Council ever more interested in facts than money?