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Bonkers Blog November 2018

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6 November - It’s later than you think

A question one often hears in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead is just how much longer will everyone be inconvenienced by the road works in Harrow Manorway.

Network Rail moved in in August 2013 and things have not been the same since. Constant disruption but at least Network Rail opened the new station on time even if it wasn’t quite finished.

Bexley Council’s contribution to the Crossrail project has been to rebuild Harrow Manorway from the Eastern Way roundabout to the foot of Knee Hill and to regenerate Gayton and Felixstowe Roads which are adjacent to the station. In terms of timetabling their planning has been a total disaster. The scheduled flyover start date was 6th March 2017 and pedestrian and road travel in the area has been a mess ever since.

People have been asking on Social Media when the job will finish or supposed to be finished and a number of helpful people have referred to Bexley Council’s yourabbeywood website which almost two years ago listed the following completion dates.

It says that work would start on rebuilding Felixstowe Road in January 2018 and Gayton Road would receive attention a month later.

The flyover would be ready six months before Crossrail services were anticipated to begin in December 2018 and Felixstowe and Gayton Roads would be finished at the same time; June 2018.

DatesNaturally those who asked the questions were not pleased with the answers provided but things are worse than that.

A long forgotten brochure circulated in November 2016 gives rather different dates.

Work on Felixstowe was supposed to start in November 2017 and Gayton Road in the following January.

Another brochure issued by Bexley Council in March 2017 said that Harrow Manorway from Sainsbury’s towards Thamesmead would be completed this Autumn.

Everyone who experiences the daily traffic chaos in the area will know that it seems likely that the flyover won’t be finished until next month and Harrow Manorway itself looks like being at least six months longer.

Except that subterranean utility services have been marked out with coloured paint no work has been done in Felixstowe and Gayton Roads which means that work is running a year late.

There are of course some excuses available to Bexley Council. Network Rail occasionally obstructed the flyover immediately outside the station and Thames Water is said to be dilatory with the rerouting of their pipes north of Yarnton Way. However it is hard to imagine what the excuse might be for shutting the flyover for six nights to resurface it and then digging it up again. If the bridge joints are suspect why weren’t they more thoroughly checked earlier?

On the positive side the road blocks look very nice as they always do before being attacked by bus wheels.

Since March 2017 nearly 700 photos of the work have been published on Bonkers, so many that the loading delays have become significant. From today they are divided into groups of approximately one hundred. The downside is that it is not quite as easy to see them all in chronological sequence and existing links to them will all go to the oldest photos which may not be ideal.

The Photo features Index may be the best place from which to take a look.

Note: I always try to make ‘feature’ file names the date on which the projects would be completed. For Harrow Manorway I originally chose 26th August 2018 allowing what I thought to be a reasonable delay factor. The file names have been changed to 21st December for the flyover and 28th June next year for Harrow Manorway. Ever the optimist eh?


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