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News and Comment May 2024

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30 May (Part 3) - Abbey Wood Village. The end

When there were high hopes that Wilton Road would develop into a thriving little shopping centre (†) once the Elizabeth line opened Bexley and Greenwich councils provided £300,000 to get it tarted up a bit. They took more than a third of it back in planning fees but no one expects total generosity from any Council.

One of the things they threw in for good measure in 2016 was a website. It was never updated and to cut a long story short that domain name is now legally mine. I have only once received a request for a site update so it is now more out of date than ever.

The only activity is the occasional email to me as webmaster asking whichever trader to provide a service and I have to print them out and hand deliver the requests. With only four exceptions I do not know traders’ email addresses either.

There have been three such requests this week.

The domain name (both and .uk) comes up for renewal on 17th June, £47 each plus VAT for three years. The web space comes free. Another long story.

Because traders have no interest in the website the decision has been taken to abandon it and it will therefore disappear in not much more than two week’s time. If anyone has a use for the domain, please ask.

† It didnְ’t.


30 May (Part 2) - Here he goes again

Mr. Kulvinder Singh submitted yet another planning application (24/01647/FUL) on 238 Woolwich Road this week. That’s the site he wrecked so severely in 2018 that his neighbours were forced to sell up and move away. Only Singh would buy.

This time it is a side extension, two new bedrooms and two new bathrooms. There is a long record of similar applications on various Bexley properties, some retrospective and some initially rejected but a compliant Bexley Council always eventually falls into line.

There cannot be much doubt about which way the decision will go on this one.
Singh and friends

Five Tories and a Singh.


30 May (Part 1) - Knee Hill is shut…

…but no one knows why.

At 9.30 yesterday morning I was on my way to Petts Wood by car, with a large bag of tools in the boot in case any anti-car nutter thinks the SL3 is a viable option, heading in a westerly direction on Abbey Road and intending to turn left into New Road. From a distance I signalled to a learner driver waiting at the bottom of New Road to cross my path and ascend the hill. He didn’t move and when I reached the junction the reason became clear. Five buses were trying to wiggle past parked cars and negotiate the stupidly designed kinky junction.

When it was clear of buses I turned left in front of the learner who was understandably very hesitant but within 100 yards or so encountered another SL3 descending the hill so I pulled into a parking space to give him a clear run. However the bus flashed me to proceed and when I looked in the mirror I saw the reason why. The road was blocked again with a queue behind me.

Usually when Bexley Council or a utility imposes traffic chaos on the area the local Facebook page will give the reason why but not this time. An inquisitive friend walked up Knee Hill to see what might be going on. Just after 2:30 p.m. the answer was absolutely nothing. There was some fencing in need of repair but no indication that any work was in progress.

Mr. Inquisitive phoned the Council but the Contact Centre said that the Highways Department had not answered their phone all day so there was nothing the lady could do to help.

By yesterday evening there was a rumour circulating locally that Knee Hill might open this afternoon.

A couple of months ago I mentioned Knee Hill to the Councillor in charge at Bexley Council and suggested that the existing kerb line could be eased out by about 18 inches on both sides without impacting any tree. Every regular user will have breathed in as he passes an off route bus short-cutting to the garage and wondering if his wing mirror will survive or mounting the low kerb on one of the bends. Another couple of feet would make Knee Hill a lot safer than it is.

The Councillor’s precise words were “It’s never going to happen” which was perhaps his way of saying Councils are stupid and always will be.


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