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Until the beginning of this week I had not been to Bexleyheath during daylight hours since
25th October and very much aware that BiB’s news coverage is heavily biased towards
the north I dragged myself there to see what was going on in Albion Road.
Not a lot as it turned out. The dual carriageway that bypasses the town centre is being destroyed but there were no traffic problems to be seen. FM Conway had commandeered a great chunk of the Bowling Centre car park as one has come to expect.
Whether spending a huge sum on swapping two carriageways for a cycle track proves to be beneficial remains to be seen but Bexley’s road planning is generally dire, or “bonkers” as it was once described to me by Councillor John Davey, Vice Chairman of the Transport Users’ Committee. (The website name is derived from his comment. Thanks John, you are an inspiration.)
A council officer, chattier than most, told me recently that no one patrols the streets any more to pick up developing problems and that on-line only reporting procedures are adding to the maintenance problems.
Hence the picture of a pothole (Photo 5) I have been avoiding when driving for the past two or three weeks. It doesn’t look as deep in the photo as I thought it was when driving by.
There has been a very serious accident at that spot this afternoon with reports that it could prove fatal. It appears to have nothing to do with the pothole.
In a week’s time Abbey Road in Belvedere will get a much needed resurfacing (Photo 6) from the borough boundary at Knee Hill to the eastern end of Lesnes Abbey park. It has been a mess ever since Bexley Council made it far too narrow back in 2009 and the ruts that traffic had made in the surface suddenly became much nearer to the kerb, thereby creating an elongated puddle whenever it rained with the consequential drenching of pedestrians.
A mere eight years later the problem looks like it might go away.
The start date provides a whole week of free passage along Abbey Road because the gas main works which have caused chaos since the beginning of the year were completed at 1 p.m. today.
Strictly speaking the works were completed on schedule last Monday (Photo 1 below) and the parking restrictions designed to allow a temporary bus stand expired (Photo 2 below). However no one was in a hurry to restore the road to normal operation. The cones provided a useful parking spot for contractors’ vehicles (Photo 3 below).
By Friday morning total chaos ensued. The traffic lights were still in place but with no indication of where drivers should go. Vehicles were using both sides of the road (Photo 4 below).
Why does Bexley Council allow the utilities to get away with such behaviour and why do their contractors need four weeks to dig a hole, uncover a gas pipe and fill the hole in again?