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Bonkers Blog January 2018

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Old Farm

25 January (Part 3) - It was roads and bikes too

It wasn’t just buses and trains that were discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, roads got an airing too.

The Agenda included some impressive graphs on how road casualty figures were on a steady downward path but closer examination showed that to be over the past 30 years and some have kicked up over the past year or two, notably for severe injuries to pedestrians and cyclists.

Slight injuries were up by 16% last year. As I understand it, the trend is widespread across the country and is not a phenomenon unique to Bexley. In 2017 1,299 Bexley children had received road safety training but “silly little people doing wheelies” continue to be a problem.

In 2017 1,686 cyclists had been trained.

No particular accident “hot-spots” have been identified in Bexley. The statistics identify some areas as being worse than others but those areas are quite large and the accidents are not occurring all in the same place.

The plan for cycling quiet ways has been all but abandoned. £17,000 will be spent on planning for the future during the coming year but no money is available to actually build any - TfL cuts being the cause following a £700m. reduction to the government grant. There will however be “a fairly standard cycle route over the Harrow Manorway flyover” and there will be a cycle hub built within a refurbished and soon to be redundant bus shelter opposite Abbey Wood station.

Cabinet Member Alex Sawyer took the further opportunity to say that the Mayor had “once again screwed South East London”. The London Cycling Commissioner came to Bexley last August, had the need for quiet ways explained to him, he’d promised a response but despite two reminders has made no further comment. “When we have another election the Mayor might remember where Bexley is once again.”

Councillor Borella suggested that Alex should speak to the Editor of the Evening Standard who made the budget cut. In a very sarcastic tone, Chairman Val Clark slapped him down with an unnecessarily curt “Thanks for the advice”.

Mr. Robert Heywood who represents cycling interests on the Committee had hoped that the Albion Road reconstruction would be a success and the stepped cycling track appears to be but he was critical of the design of Bexley’s roundabouts. They tend to force cyclists to the kerb rather than allowing them to hog their lane which is the recommended safe practice. The cycling track surface was “choppy” and his complaint met with some sympathy. The surface will be replaced when the temperature is more conducive to a good result.

The Harrow Manorway flyover works are not now expected to complete until June, in part as a consequence of the delay to station completion. Work will begin on Felixstowe and Gayton Roads in April or May and not the November 2017 January 2018 dates originally announced.

Click image for source document.


From Tuesday’s agenda.

The Watling Street Gravel Hill junction currently being converted from traffic light control to a roundabout will suffer three weeks of night closures in the immediate future with the expectation of it being fully open again by the beginning of March. The newly constructed Gravel Hill Albion Road roundabout will suffer the same fate.

Note: Shortly after this blog was published Bexley Council issued their Press Release on the subject. It is a more detailed version of what was announced at the Transport Users’ meeting.


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