Bexley Council has spent a lot of money over the years
making Abbey Road in
Belvedere narrower. Dangerously narrow in places. The section opposite Lesnes
Abbey can be particularly difficult during commuter parking hours.
Buses wait for each other to navigate the pinch points and impatient motorists ignore the Keep Left islands in an effort to maintain their speed. This is particularly disconcerting for pedestrians about to step off the refuge and who have only looked left.
Half a mile to the east outside St. Augustine's church, Abbey Road can again be a little tricky and anything larger than a small car has to travel on the wrong side of the road around a blind bend. Bexley Council aims to make things easier. Probably the verdict on that should be reserved but their track record is not good. When did you last see a really well designed new road in Bexley?
Today Bexley Council’s incompetent road planning is not the issue up for discussion, the concern here is their total lack of consideration for anyone on wheels while the work goes on. Or any sense of what the consequences of their plan might be. Or any sense at all.
The Council plans to close Abbey Road totally for a whole month while a new pedestrian refuge is installed. Why? Does the North have to suffer to balance the pain inflicted on Bexley Village?
The official diversion starts nearly a mile away in Abbey Wood. It goes up New Road to Woolwich Road, along to Belvedere Police Station (Nuxley Road) and then down Picardy Road.
New Road is already one way traffic during commuter parking times as anyone who uses the B11 bus will know. It gets stuck at the bottom of the hill regularly. Picardy Road is already near impassable at the best of times as the pictures below illustrate. (Taken at 2 p.m. today.)
The 401 bus uses Picardy Road eight times an hour causing chaos in its wake and there is nearly always a queue to get back on to the B213 at the bottom end. Bexley Council staff reported to the Planning Committee when they were considering the new Asda store that approval would push traffic congestion there right up against the acceptable limit. They were not wrong.
If Abbey Road is closed, everyone living from St. Augustine’s through to Abbey Wood (and those in South Thamesmead who walk over the railway footbridge) will be deprived of a bus service. It will not be only eight buses an hour on Picardy Road, it will be 28 buses an hour. More in the rush hour. It’s not going to work is it? A bus every two minutes on the steep, narrow and bendy Picardy Road. The ‘Working for you Council’ is comprised of blithering idiots who work to make things convenient only for themselves.
The work is likely to start next week.