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Bonkers Blog October 2019

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27 October - Road planning Bexley style - again

Bexley Council claims it is coming to the end of its rebuilding of Harrow Manorway and the major reconstruction phase will be finished soon with the let out clause that odd jobs will continue into next year.

It doesn’t look close to finished right now but next week’s extensive resurfacing should make it look very different. The end product is probably not what anyone was hoping for apart from it looking smart and new. There is still no sign of a pedestrian crossing anywhere north of Sainsbury’s.

What has nearly three years of work and eight million pounds of taxpayers money actually given us?

The original reasonably adequate road to the station has lost its free car parking but gained a cycle track. Where it used to have a 30 m.p.h. limit it is now 20 m.p.h. and where it was 40 it is reduced to 30. There are fewer flats and houses nearby than there were three years ago so presumably this is a tacit admission by Bexley Council that they have made the road more dangerous than before.

The dual carriageway to Eastern Way is maintained but the capacity is reduced because one lane is now buses only.

The promised central reservation wide enough to provide a future tramway is nowhere to be seen but then neither is Crossrail, the raison ’d ֹ‘etre for three years of road chaos in and around Abbey Wood.

Harrow Manorway is yet another glorious monument to Bexley Council’s failure to plan or project manage anything properly. It follows in the footsteps of Abbey Road, The Broadway and the Gravel Hill roundabouts all renowned for being far more dangerous than before so much money was spent. Harrow Manorway is yet another project that promised little and achieved less.

It’s what you get when there is a clown in charge of TfL and Bexley promote another to head up their Highways Department.
Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway Harrow Manorway

I wonder what the long term affects of 20 m.p.h. limits are? There is not yet any evidence that they save lives but the evidence that they are a drain on the nation’s economy is mounting.

On a personal note they are saving me money. My cousin who is a big time quizzer used to drag me to Chingford every week or two but he wanted to switch allegiance to a pub in the middle of of Walthamstow where the prizes are bigger. Every road I need to use is blighted by 20 m.p.h. limits even major ones like Markhouse Road and Lea Bridge Road. I find myself restricted to 20 after midnight on a Sunday all the way to Hackney Wick (for Blackwall Tunnel) which is around five miles away. Speed cameras all the way. It’s unjustifiable at that time of night and far too risky. I don’t go any more. The pub loses out, not much from me, I never drink more than one pint but my cousin doesn’t drive (I’m his Uber) and he can down four and still win.

North East London is solid socialist so I suppose it serves the locals right for voting that way. It’s not what most Bexley people expect of its Council but when they take money from the Mayor it is probably becomes inevitable. When’s the Mayoral election due?


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