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News and Comment November 2012

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20 November (Part 2) - What is it that Bexley council has against cyclists?

Road narrowed Road narrowed Road narrowedLike most public authorities, Bexley council’s number one priority is keeping themselves in well paid employment at taxpayers’ expense. Hence the non-stop fiddling around with road layouts, sometimes putting right the idiocies of a few years earlier, sometimes creating new ones.

A common theme running across many recent developments is a desire to put cyclists at maximum risk. Narrow roads are not only a “recipe for head on collisions” as a safety consultant once told me but they put cyclists closer to other traffic. Even worse is an abrupt narrowing such that a momentary lack of concentration can put a cyclist under the wheels of a bus.

Road narrowedOne might argue that narrow roads make pedestrian crossings safer but that theory is not always borne out in practice. Occasionally roads have been narrowed to the point that a central pedestrian refuge can no longer be accommodated. Long Lane being a recent example.

But it keeps Bexley’s bureaucrats employed and FM Conway in the money. Nothing else seems to matter.

Note: The pedestrian crossing shown is of the original after the road was made narrower and the central refuge removed. A new and similar crossing was provided a few metres to the south. Note the re-sited pole and the tactile paving. The black patch is where the pedestrian refuge used to be.

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