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News and Comment July 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

10 July - The great divide

It has been an interesting few days for anonymous messages. According to an anonymous 18 year old I am “a crazy old person” and “gammon” whatever that may be. “You don’t care about the disadvantaged”.

Not really worth a reply, although anyone who can work out where my political allegiances lie is either extremely clever or extremely stupid.

Rather more useful from an occasional contributor was the link to the Healthy Streets Scorecard which is a website supported by a number of Green activists with whom I do not have a strong affinity. Nevertheless they provide a lot of interesting statistics (†) about transport related things across London.

In its summary page Bexley is specially noted as being ‘bad’ in three out of their five chosen categories. Hillingdon comes out worse overall with Bexley one of five near identically rated boroughs with the ‘almost as bad’ score.

Whether worst or bad are deserved epithets will probably depend on your preferred mode of transport. Personally I am rather pleased with Bexley’s low score. If I was a resident of one of the East and North East London boroughs which I have to visit too often there would be an Estate Agent’s board in my front garden.

According to the Green campaigners, Bexley is one of three London boroughs to have only 4% of its roads noted as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. Really? Where are they? Hackney has 55%! Where would you rather live?
The Scorecard claims that Bexley has 9·7% of its roads limited to 20 m.p.h. 4th lowest but twice as much as the lowest (Barnet.)

The generally unpopular Controlled Parking Zones cover 16% of Bexley’s roads, again twice as much as the ‘best’ (Bromley) but way below the near 100% favoured by nine boroughs.

3·1% of Bexley’s roads have protected cycle lanes against the London average of 4·1%. In common with Sutton it has no Traffic-free School Streets.

Bexley scores lowest in London for sustainable transport, public, walking, cycling, but nevertheless achieves the London average for walking five times a week. Cycling is not popular.

In line with the average walking rate, pedestrian accidents are average and following the same trend, cycling’s unpopularity results in a relatively low accident rate.

As has been said here before, car ownership in Bexley is high. An average of 1·07 vehicles per household despite 24% of households not having one at all.

Sometimes I think it is a good thing that Bexley Council ran out of money; they will be less inclined to take the country back to the dark ages which will be the inevitable result of crippling transport facilities.

This “crazy old person” can remember the coal being delivered on a horse drawn wagon, the roads being repaired by a real steam roller, the occasional man riding a penny farthing and being taken for a walk through the Blackwall tunnel as a Sunday treat. There was little else to do on a Sunday. I doubt any teenager, abusive or otherwise, would be happy to return to such days but I have a suspicion that the Green lobby would.

† The statistics are drawn from various Green campaigning websites which may or may not be official in any way.


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