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Bonkers Blog May 2019

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19 May (Part 2) - Facebook Folly

While I was stuck in East Ham two weeks ago watching an old lady sleeping there was frequently not a lot to do apart from playing with a laptop. Never before have I read so many Facebook posts.

It can be an interesting insight into human behaviour. In Bexley there are apparently hordes of Facebook readers, many of them attached to female names, who are extremely angry most of the time. The F and C words are part of their everyday vocabulary. And then there are the busybodies who get hold of the wrong end of the stick and start some sort of war between their supporters and those with a little more sense.

Welling roundaboutOne such bad tempered debate kept me entertained over several hours until the congenitally argumentative moved on to pastures new. It concerned the roundabout on Upper Wickham Lane where it meets Oakhampton Crescent.

It is a junction I use every week or so when heading home to Abbey Wood. I get in the right hand lane as indicated by the road markings and at the start of Oakhampton Crescent turn left into Lodge Hill.

I’ve never seen anyone make that manoeuvre differently to me however the aforesaid busybody had video’d a red car doing the same and posted it on video as an example of how not to do it.

The situation was complicated by the driver of a grey car which followed the straight ahead lane marked with a straight arrow (bottom left of satellite image) and then turned right into the path of the red car.

The busybody on a speeding motorcycle said it was the red car driver who got it all wrong and far too many readers supported him.

The motorcyclist justified his ridiculous interpretation of events by claiming that the roundabout had four arms and that Lodge Hill was the straight ahead and the road to Plumstead was a left turn.

If he had paid attention to the road signs (Photo 1) instead of fiddling with his camera he may have noticed the roundabout sign - Photo 1. It only shows three arms.

If he had approached from a different direction he should have seen the circles on sticks indicating a roundabout. Lodge Hill is different, it has a Give Way sign. At ground level it has a white line quite separate from the one at the roundabout.

Welling roundabout Welling roundabout Welling roundabout Welling roundabout

The speeding motorcyclist was quite obviously wrong in what he said about which lane should be chosen when heading for Lodge Hill but the worrying thing was that so many people agreed with him. By his definition he was not only speeding but also in the wrong lane himself!

Entering Lodge Hill never was the easiest of manoeuvres but now I know there are so many confused drivers using the route I will be extra vigilant. My new car sounds a warning if someone creeps up on the inside, it was probably an extra worth paying for.

The original Facebook idiocies may be read here and a low resolution copy of the video is below. Low enough to obscure the number plate of the innocent red car driver and the speedometer of the not so innocent motorcyclist. The original Facebook video is of higher quality if you want to see number plates.

Andrew Bashford (Bexley’s road designer) should probably read the thread, it contains a few tips on how he might improve an awkward junction. The inside lane shouldn’t extend beyond the road to Plumstead but no one at Bexley Council is bright enough to recognise that. A pot of paint would fix it.


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