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News and Comment January 2022

Index: 2019202020212022

2 January (Part 1) - Bexley’s forgotten backwater

Gayton Road stairs In September 2018 a notice went up in Gayton Road, Abbey Wood which said that in preparation for the opening of Crossrail services the road would be dramatically improved to the level demanded by a prestige project.

The new station had opened a year earlier and Elizabeth line services were due to commence imminently but Bexley Council had run seriously late with all their Crossrail related projects so their lateness was not unexpected. Bexley originally announced that everything would be completed by the Summer of 2018.

For the past three years Bexley Council’s Conservative kettle has called the London Mayorְ’s pot black because Crossrail services have still not started - although if you stand in train-spotter mode on Abbey Wood station you will probably see a train trundle off every five minutes.

In fact Bexley Council is just as far behind with its own relatively simple Gayton Road project without any obvious excuse. The upgrade is still not completed; the stairs to the flyover and station are still inaccessible.

The barricade is not very effective at flyover level because there are two easy access routes past the ironmongery and if you venture that far you will find the stairs apparently completed and ready for use.

The railway is protected from vandalism by a a substantial mesh fence. The old concrete steps are neatly covered with aluminium and the paved area is rather nicely finished off with some sort of asphalt.

So why are pedestrians inconvenienced daily for no good reason except for the perennial suspicion that Bexley Council doesn’t really care?

My guess is that Bexley Council paid off the lady who was looking after the project and it being only a matter of yards from the borough boundary no one else has wandered by. Whatever happened to Tiffany Lynch who decided to refurbish the stairs? (Engineering advice was that their demolition would be too expensive.)

Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs

Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs Gayton Road stairs


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