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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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8 March (Part 1) - No one is impressed. Two years of disruption and it is not pedestrian friendly

I find myself driving from Thamesmead through to Abbey Wood via Harrow Manorway only once a fortnight and it requires a great deal of care because every time I do so the road layout has changed. The only good news is that I think the speed restriction signs which said 40 on one side of the road and 20 on the other may have gone now, they threw the speed alert alarm in my car into a right old tizzy. (No, it’s still there.)

Heading south across the Yarnton Road roundabout requires special attention, my regular trip is after dark and it is blind when looking towards Eynsham Drive and the exit to the south is far from clear among a plethora of barriers and cones. For a while there was no provision for pedestrians to get from Yarnton Way to Eynsham Drive without traversing the roundabout itself. Fortunately that situation did not last long.

As a pedestrian I was almost knocked down on that junction a couple of months ago because the road markings suggested one thing and the barriers another. It is a little bit better now but perhaps still not good enough.

It would appear that I am not alone in thinking that things could be better. From a BiB reader this week…

I would like to share with you some of my recent experiences on Harrow Manorway which I hope you can share with your readers and get their comments.

While trying to cross Harrow Manorway near the Yarnton Way roundabout at the absolutely pathetic and highly dangerous alleged crossing, a women with a pram was crossing in the opposite direction. A car coming off the roundabout and heading towards the station barely missed both her and her baby. This is not the first time I have witnessed such a scene.

Is it going to take the death or severe injury (and I’m not over exaggerating here) of someone at this junction before the imbecile highways officer/road planner makes changes, or replaces the traffic crossing signals, on a highly dangerous crossing where no one seems to know what’s going on?

The imbecile/road planner has literally turned crossing the road at this point into a game of chicken.

The same imbecile highways officer/road planner must be as pleased as punch to put an absolutely laughable bus shelter outside what is a lovely design led new station. Having spent multi-millions of pounds on an as yet unfinished highways scheme which was supposed to incorporate a properly designed bus canopy, the cretins decide to go down the cheap route and put in a load of crap which isn’t worth its weight in salt and gets everyone soaking wet!!!!

Also when I was standing there the other day along with about 40 or 50 other people waiting for a bus heading towards Thamesmead, people who were walking towards Sainsbury’s were having to walk in the road to get past the bus shelter as the path was too narrow for both bus passengers and pedestrians walking past.

Is this a design flaw as this stop is only going to get busier with the opening of Crossrail???

It beggars belief that they haven’t thought of that. Is it going to take an injury to someone before this is changed as well???

BashfordAnd just a last note on this idiot of a highways office/road planner, I know they are extremely late on starting the road works on the Felixstowe Road side but when are they going to stop the cars from parking directly outside the station and making the road into a narrow single lane on a blind bend?? Is Bexley Council or their contractors really that gormless that they can’t see how dangerous it is?

I’m sure a lot of your readers would have experienced the same problems and it would be interesting to hear their comments as this Council led debacle really does take some believing.

Bus shelterMaybe the “highways officer/road planner” should be unmasked. It is the ‘founder’ of Bexley-is-Bonkers himself. The man who tried to stop me questioning his dangerous redesign of Abbey Road ten years ago by saying his plan was entirely in accordance with Transport Research Laboratory guidance. He thought that blinding me with science was a masterstroke but he hadn’t checked who was head of the TRL Department that issued it. It was my son so I know he was simply trying it on.

It didn’t do him any harm though, Bexley Council promoted him. It is no surprise to find road planning in Bexley goes from bad to worse.

The pictures below illustrate the BiB reader’s point.

Felixstowe Road is running well over a year late, work was supposed to start in January 2018 and there is still no sign of it. The excuse of Crossrail works getting in the way has long since gone. As the contributor says, Felixstowe Road has been turned into a parking lot.

The bus stops are a total disaster zone; this, never forget, is the terminus of the most prestigious railway line to be built in London for 100 years, and what do we get, a Meccano set bus shelter with a roof no more effective than a broken umbrella.

The northbound bus shelter will be the one that gets used most, on the other side of the road the buses go to places better served by other railway stations. The shelter was supposed to be modelled on the original bus shelter which is now a bike rack. It wasn’t supposed to be like that, a proper shelter should have been cantilevered out over the car park below. Why else would there be a gap in the concrete wall which has been plugged by some railings? Do we blame Transport for London or Bexley Council for the inadequacies?

There is no shelter from the elements, there is no arrivals board, there is no room for passengers and pedestrians on the footpath. It’s what you get when a track record of poor design is rewarded.

Pedestrian crossing Felixstowe Road Felixstowe Road Harrow Manorway bus stop

The Harrow Manorway developments have been photographed at weekly intervals since work began in May 2017. They are Indexed here.


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