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The long awaited regeneration of Wilton Road, the shopping area that forms
the approach to Abbey Wood Station, has started.
The shops to the north of the railway went to the wall when Network Rail closed the station access route which passed them by and now Greenwich Council, aided and abetted by Bexley Council, appears to have a similar aim in mind by its inconsiderate and thoughtless public works programme.
Yesterday contractors to Greenwich Council set about ripping up Wilton Road’s west side pavement and erecting barriers, then promptly disappeared, probably because it started to rain.
Photographed in the rain around 3 p.m. 9th January
Today they were back in force to create a lot more misery by taking over the
Bexley side with diggers, lorries and Portaloos. The road is
close to being blocked. (Photo 3 below.) There is no parking on the Greenwich side
and apart from the two Disabled Bays there is almost nowhere to stop on the Bexley side either. When I passed
the two disabled spaces were occupied by a car which managed to straddle both bays. A case of a disabled brain presumably.
Wilton Road photographed around 12:30 p.m. 10th January
This is not what Greenwich Council promised in their letter to traders. A section of the parking area is not the whole blooming lot!
The parking problem is so severe that the Abbey Arms has had to put a barrier on its customer car park. (Photo 4 of Row 1.) More expense for another hard pressed business. Council officials have no idea of the problems they cause and probably care less.
Bexley Council has joined the quest for chaos by licensing a hole in the road at the entrance to Wilton Road. Contractors to British Gas dug a hole in the ground a week ago and promptly went away leaving the area to the mercy of three way traffic lights.
The queues can be long but the real problem occurs during the rush hour. The one way loop from Abbey Road, via Wilton Road, Gayton Road, Florence Road and back to Abbey Road causes gridlock. No one can get out of Florence Road because of the queue in Abbey Road and that queue cannot move because no one can get into Wilton Road because of the circular queue. Far too complicated a situation for any Council traffic manager to understand, let alone find a solution.
Transport for London has got in on the act too. Since the 244 bus stand was displaced two years ago from Gayton Road the new stand on Knee Hill has proved inadequate at times.
Why the timetable calls for two buses to frequently sit there, and occasionally three, I have no idea but evidently TfL has recognised the problem. Last week they created a new bus stand in Florence Road complete with bus stop and yellow paint on the road.
Another four parking spaces lost.
Bexley Council has been told umpteen times that Wilton Road businesses are crippled by its parking restrictions. Something like 20 spaces have been taken away within the past two years and that does not include those lost to the regeneration. No one at Bexley has taken the slightest interest in the problems they create and simply go on creating bigger ones.
Just a couple of minutes walk away, Bexley Council has taken yet more parking spaces out of use in both Fossington and Abbey Roads. No idea why but it all adds to the chaos.
Another minute further east my own road is being regularly clogged by commuters. They park all around blind corners. I met someone on the wrong side of the road on a corner only yesterday. Sooner or later it will cause an accident.
If you think things couldn’t get worse for Wilton Road, you’d be wrong. The Post Office announced today that it plans to close their SE2 Crown Office at the entrance to Wilton Road.
By the way, TfL has said that the pedestrian controlled lights outside Sainsbury's which have been going off by themselves every 90 seconds or so is not a serious enough problem to be worth a priority fix. They have been broken for at least six weeks bringing yet more traffic chaos to the area. It wouldn't be allowed in the south of the borough, but the north seems not to matter.