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Bonkers Blog October 2019

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20 October (Part 2) - From steam to electricity

How is this for something you’d never guess? All my recent correspondence with Belvedere Councillor Sally Hinkley has been about steam engines.

HurricaneIt all started when she showed me some pictures she had taken this year while on holiday in Dymchurch which boasts a 92 year old, 14 mile, 15 inch gauge railway. In return I sent her a picture I took in the middle 1950s of the same steam engine in the same place.

From there, I have no idea why, the conversation moved to Bexley’s Autumn issue Magazine and I told her that no one I know of in my road received it and by no means for the first time.

Last night a copy flopped on to my door mat. I went to the door in time to see Sally’s elderly diesel Mercedes (†) disappearing into the distance. I sat down to read it. It was a bit disappointing to be honest.

A bit about wi-fi in the bigger shopping centres - how come Bexley Village qualifies and not Belvedere? (I think we know.)

The Alcock & Brown Centenary, the delayed bins and a load of stuff aimed at old people and getting married, neither of which apply to me obviously.

And then there is the half baked plan to install a pathetic number of Electric Vehicle charging points.

MagazineThe 13 least popular parking bays in the borough will each get a single dual headed charging post capable of delivering twice the power of a 13 amp socket.

Why the least popular places? If Bexley Council was truly keen to encourage electric car ownership they would provide the most popular destinations with charging points; that is what every other Council does.

Thirteen is less than half of what can be found in just one car park in Greenwich.

Some Councils provide discounted residents’ parking permits for EVs but Bexley Council is only about money, money, money.

There should be charging points at Hall Place but the new plans for charging entrance fees say nothing about attracting the new generation of cars.

There should be charging points alongside Lesnes Abbey. Bexley says they have the most popular and best parks in the world but no charging points which practically every other Council is using as a selling point.

Hampshire County Council has gone further. It has notified all its residents that it is entirely lawful to run a cable across pavements when houses have no off street parking so long as certain precautions are observed.

The cable should not cross a roadway and should be certified for external use. It should not be strung across the footpath at high level but placed on the ground and protected with a cover if at all possible.

Isn’t it about time that Bexley Council got serious and stopped messing around? The only chargers it has installed so far are in the Councillors’ private car park. Typical!

None whatsoever in public car parks. Don’t they realise that bays reserved for electric car charging are a revenue raiser? There are plenty of companies who will install them free of charge and pay for the privilege and then there are the PCNs that can be handed out to all the fossil fuel drivers who illegally park in them.

Incidentally, the hand delivered magazine is not the only act of generosity from Sally; she does it all the time and believe me, a free magazine is by comparison a very minor one.

† Sally says it is an Audi and only 14 years old, so it’s “still in its prime”.


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