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News and Comment November 2011

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19 November - Blocked roads. Blockheads

Road closedHave you tried to drive to or through Bexley any evening this month? If you have you will have seen that Bexley is closed. Goodness know what effect that is having on the pubs and restaurants there. When I approached via Bourne Road on 2nd November, all three roads leading off the mini-roundabout were closed. If you were heading towards the church 150 yards from the roundabout you were sent on a detour through Sidcup, Footscray and the North Cray Road which is six miles (due to the railway line and the River Cray) even if you know all the short cuts.

On two subsequent occasions, my destination being in the village centre, I was allowed to drive from the roundabout towards the station and park off road but later found myself trapped and got away only under the guidance of the contractor’s staff who removed barriers. On 2nd November before it became obvious what was going on I asked the man at the barrier, “Is this utility work or the Bexley b·····ds” and he replied “Bexley. You know what they are like.” Sadly we do. Blame Mike Frizoni and his cabinet member boss, Peter Craske.

In the middle of the borough the main route from Welling to Bexleyheath has been closed for months. Currently the detour is from Crook Log along Brampton Road as far as the roundabout at King Harold’s Way, then back via Long Lane. More than three miles out of your way, though no local driver would be fool enough to take the recommended route.

Woolwich Road, Abbey WoodFrom 5th December it’s the turn of the North of the borough to be disrupted by Mike Frizoni. Woolwich Road (A206) between the traffic lights at Knee Hill and New Road a couple of hundred yards to the East is to be closed for resurfacing. The detour is along Brampton Road again to the same King Harold’s Way roundabout (approaching from the other side of it for non-local readers) and then off towards Belvedere village via Bedonwell and Nuxley Roads. A mile or so added to your journey via normally quiet residential roads.

Woolwich Road between Knee Hill and New Road is, as local readers will know, a dual carriageway, two lanes in each direction. But Mike Frizoni is going to close the whole lot at the same time. When he is done with that he is going to close Knee Hill, the main route to Thamesmead, for three days minimum. Closing roads totally for maintenance has become Bexley council’s lazy norm.

Not everyone at Bexley council is a thoughtless idiot though. Let me tell you about Sophie McKenna in the Highways Department. Bexley council gave a licence to UK Power (UKP) to dig up the pavement for electrical work. They did so leaving the resident there unable to put his car on his drive when he returned home. His road is fully yellow lined. When the work was done and the hole remained open he spoke to Samara at UKP who told him the hole wouldn’t be filled for another ten days. She promised to have metal plates put over the hole. Nothing happened but Sam at UKP arranged for the hole to be filled in. Unfortunately the pavement wasn’t restored and the barriers were left in place. Jake at UKP was useless but Gary said no metal plates could be provided as someone would steal them. So thanks to UKP and Bexley’s licence a resident was prevented from getting his car off the road for a week. Bexley council’s Highways Department were then on the receiving end of a rather angry phone call. Sophie answered it, was polite and understanding, said she would be on to UKP immediately and was as good as her word. Within hours UKP finished the job they should have completed a week earlier. It’s a pity Frizoni shows no understanding whatsoever and all the wrong people get promoted.


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