think I may have ruined someone’s day. In fact several people’s day, for which I
apologise, but I am not at all convinced it was my fault.
A few days ago I said I wouldn’t be able take up Bexley Council’s invitation to see the Bexley bridge being opened by Mayor Pallen, tea and cakes and all! But Elwyn Bryant found me a free parking spot close by so I could hardly refuse.
We got there at much the same time as the Council contingent and were soon joined by a local shopkeeper who is incensed by Bexley Council and the effect they have had on his business, but they are ignoring him. Just before the ribbon was due to be cut John Watson showed up too, delayed by a car park ticket machine that wouldn’t accept cash. And that was it, just four members of the public were sufficiently interested to witness the civic spectacle.
A shame really because although one could criticise the enormous interval between the first traffic crossing and today, the public invitation was a nice gesture.
The photos below are all displayed in sequence. The mayor in her finest was shown the pink ribbon but then it looks like the members of the public were spotted and the Mayor and the Leader went inside. (Photo 2 below.) The road was closed for a very short time and Councillor Alex Sawyer wielded the golden scissors in lieu of Mayor Pallen. St. Mary’s ward (Bexley Village) is very fortunate in that all three of their Councillors appear to be reasonably nice people and certainly approachable blokes.
Immediately after Alex Sawyer snipped the ribbon the Mayor reappeared briefly, (Photo 6) never to be seen again. Elwyn, John and I went into the warm where we were offered tea or coffee with a plentiful supply of cakes and biscuits. The Leader stayed outside in the cold, no idea why.
Councillors Tandy and Sawyer are not afraid to meet the public so we had a friendly chat about Donald Trump and the less than ideal positioning of the weight restriction warning signs. They have been improved since I last looked. It used to be the case that the first sign a lorry driver would see was beyond the point of no return. (Photo 9 shows the original pole scarred by the original sign.) It has now been placed nearer the roundabout. (Photo 10.)
An additional sign has been placed before the roundabout but it is on the wrong side of the road where one would not naturally look and it could be obscured by a passing vehicle. There isn’t a lot of room on the correct side of the road but it would have been more obvious if placed on the traffic island. Photo 12. Councillor Sawyer said he would take another look at the situation. Not all Councillors snub the public whenever possible. Not all Councillors report them to the police on any imagined pretext they can find.
There isn’t actually a sign to say there is camera enforcement until one gets to the bridge but by then it is impossible for any vehicle to turn around, which is perhaps the object of the exercise. Penalty Notices at (probably) £120 a time. No one I spoke to knew what the fee actually was.
With no one but three members of the public two Councillors and a couple of Council people taking advantage of the generous provision of cakes the organisers were able to take them home or back to the office.
I said to one that it was a shame to have wasted so much effort and money when nobody had shown up but he told me it didn’t matter and not to worry about it. They waste money all the time. He said more but as I have already ruined the Mayor’s day I won’t ruin his too.
Council’s Press Release with links to their picture.
It is a nice bridge.