An encampment which became home to a number of people located below a flyover next to Abbey Wood station has been cleared after many months.
Bexley have put out a news story describing action as a “successful partnership” and I was passing while work was underway. Various people from a number of agencies were on site.
Yet the whole issues surrounding this area is hardly a success from Bexley.
The camp was the latest of many issues that have arisen this £10 million was spent improving this area before it passed back into local council control.
For some time there have been reports of crime and various reported problems. I was followed and surrounded by three people who left the the camp after I departed a train recently around midnight. I’d worked out what they were up to when leaving the station so before they could fully surround me on bikes I started on the leader who’d stopped closest and they left sharpish after a few choice words.
It’s reported at least some were addicts with many needles discovered. Hopefully they get offered treatment.
But it’s been a problematic spot for years now given Bexley council have pretty much let the area rot since millions were spent by Crossrail.
A cycle parking area beside the camp which was bought and paid for using public funds has never been opened by Bexley years after the new station building opened and 18 months after the Elizabeth line begun.
Various temporary fencing and building materials are still strewn about.
Maintenance of public space that is accessible is next to non-existent. Bexley may have cleared the site but until they get a grip of this area things won’t rapidly improve.
Landscaping was usually litter strewn then removed. Bins aren’t emptied. It’s a great example of how not to look after a major upgrade.
While the camp has gone the area is still an absolute tip. Dumped bits of concrete and “temporary” fences block paths for disabled pedestrians and those that are blind.
These concrete blocks were dropped down last minute after the rest of public realm work was completed. Dropped down on broken paving slabs. Some of the blocks have fell off.
If the intention was to prevent against “hostile vehicles” aka terrorism there’s plenty of ways to do so that isn’t such an eyesore. Pretty much every other Elizabeth line station shows what can be done.
Why Abbey Wood was left with such an eyesores appears to once again show a lack of care from local authorities towards the area.