The report that Bexley Council might have set up another driver trap in Welling was soon confirmed by readers. One gave an account (much abbreviated below) of his experience at the junction of Danson Lane and Welling High Street.
While on my way to Woolwich, despite taking much care I was still forced to stop for a few minutes in the yellow box and hence I’m waiting to see whether I will receive a Bexley Council penalty notice.
The slow traffic lights at Welling Corner were, as is often the case, causing a queue well past Danson Lane and there was also a queue of cars trying to exit Danson Lane. Traffic was generally leaving the yellow box clear but when the Welling Corner traffic moved up to create a space on the far side of the yellow box it was promptly filled by vehicles turning left out of Danson Lane.
Traffic back to the football ground was hardly moving. In due course I reached the yellow box where I stopped to await my exit being clear.
When the Welling Corner traffic next moved up there was nothing exiting Danson Lane so I took my chance to cross the yellow box. Just then a car came screaming up Danson Lane and shot out turning left to take the space I was aiming for. I was therefore forced to do an emergency stop to avoid rear ending this car but at the same time stopping in the yellow box until the traffic moved up again.
Should I receive a penalty ticket I will contest it on the basis that when I entered the box my exit was indeed clear as required by the law. I was forced to stop in the box by the other driver barging in as I was part way across the box. If the camera records video it should show this sequence of events rather than just a still photo of my vehicle stopped in the yellow box.
There was a programme on TV recently featuring the yellow box cameras which have raised the most revenue for councils. The problem I experienced was featured. The local bus company was deducting fines from their drivers and as a consequence they just wait and wait for their exit to be clear sometimes up to 45 minutes causing massive queues. Bexley council will not do anything about the design of the junction because it is such a good revenue raiser.
When the Conservatives were re-elected in Bexley in 2006 they succeeded on the back of two promises. One was to put an end to 17% Council Tax increases and the other was to do away with the Welling Bus Lane which was unfairly penalising motorists who clipped its corner when turning left.
The tax savings proved to be hot air, the Tories did not return any of the extra money taken by their predecessors. They inherited 24th worst position in London for Council Tax and ten years later the borough remains at 24th place from the top. One could argue that if Labour had not raised that extra cash, Bexley would be far deeper into the mire now than it actually is.
However the Tories did do away with the Welling Bus Lane, but even that achievement is now effectively cast aside. I took a look at the newly CCTV surveyed junction today (Sunday) at a few minutes after two. It was exactly as described by my correspondent above. In five minutes I stood there with my camera, three cars got stuck in the yellow box because of people darting out of Danson Lane. It would have been five but one SUV driver realising his predicament drove on to the pavement and another just managed to force a two lane queue until it moved on a little. It wasn’t just the Welling Corner traffic lights that were doing the damage but those outside Tesco too.
I had parked my car a short distance to the east and when it was my turn to head the queue for the box I copied the aforesaid bus drivers and contributed my little bit to the queue stretching back to Danson Park. I was probably stationary for about three minutes but no one hooted.
Eventually a space opened up that coincided with someone in Danson Lane signalling right. Ordinarily common courtesy would demand I let him out but the box compelled otherwise so I dashed across in front of him. The car behind wanted to turn left which might have started the whole horrendous episode all over again.
Bexley Council has said that fining moving traffic is a safety measure, but me dashing across the junction and the 4x4 on the pavement suggest otherwise. The box junction has been there for donkey’s years. It’s a strange coincidence that it only requires ‘safety measures’ applied once the money grabbers decided to issue penalties. Lying thieving bastards is I believe the correct technical term.
A friend in the Council, yes I have some, told me that the Danson Lane junction is the biggest money spinner Bexley Council has ever seen, far exceeding the notorious bus lane, so that makes Bexley Tories hypocritical bastards too.
Their camera would have been catching someone at least every three minutes while I watched, possibly more. Steer well clear of Welling, a half mile queue and a sixty pound fine awaits.
All vehicles shown were stationary when photographed between 14:06 and 14:10.