Bexley Council’s car park on Felixstowe Road near Abbey Wood station has reopened today (see yesterday’s post) as building work in the area completes.
However, while Bexley Council found £250,000 for that it’s a different story nearby as a multi-million pound street upgrade funded by Transport for London falls apart as maintenance appears non-existent.
At the completion of public realm work for the rebuilt station serving the Elizabeth line, concrete blocks were dumped down balanced precariously above broken bits of paving. Half have now fallen over
Presumably these blocks are a security measure someone forgot about until the last minute. Some stations have better protection than others. Woolwich, for example, is befitting for a project that was supposed to improve towns.
I’ve yet to see a station look as bad as Abbey Wood so soon after millions spent.
Cycle parking in the area is also still closed to the public years after installation.
While cycle stands are fenced off, homeless people moved in below the flyover. Ironically the newly reopened car park sitting next to the homeless site was designated as housing, but Bexley Council have decided a car park is a better use for their land.
Surfaces such as paving and setts across the area are grotty already as unsuitable materials were chosen. They don’t match what was shown or stated before work begun around five years ago.
Public realm upgrade
Bus users and pedestrians also see the aftermath of locating a bus stop at a narrow piece of pavement rather than a wider stretch a few metres away as was the case before works undertaken.
Numerous design issues were raised before the project begun yet were brushed over by external consultations and boroughs. It was a warning sign when the agency behind the work stated the area was in a place called “Bexley Heath”.
Wrong town, wrong spelling and not even the correct name of the borough.
Half the landscaping shown didn’t appear. What did appear was never maintained, became strewn with rubbish and was all removed in recent weeks.
The borough boundary between Bexley and Greenwich councils runs directly through both the station and public space either side.
Various area sof paving and road surfaces have seen patches of tarmac appear rather than reinstatement of materials. Happy to take the millions but do little to ever maintain it.
It appears Bexley have been given control of parts of Greenwich borough to the north of the station where they manage much of Felixstowe Road beside the station despite business and residents facing here paying tax to Greenwich.
To the south, control runs down the middle of a shopping parade. Recently Greenwich placed more tarmac down here on the shopping parade on Wilton Road.
Trees shown on renders closer to the station before work begun never materialised. It was later stated that service below ground prevented trees, and planters may be looked at. They’ve never arrived.
The reality is an occasional parking free for all sometimes holding up buses.
Ultimately a year after the new Elizabeth line opened here, drivers have a newly revamped car park on land designated as housing. Yet if you’re on foot, a bus user, a resident in the area or a cyclist then you’ve been pretty much ignored as public spaces continue to decline.