Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bus Lane Folly

Anyone with an interest in reading local blogs will be aware of Bexley Council's strange and erratic highways policies. You can read regular reports of their goings on through Malcolm Knight's 'Bexley is Bonkers' blog and more occasionally, you will get a item courtesy of Arthur Pewty.

Today however, I want to talk to you about how Greenwich Council is fed up with being ignored in the 'let's see who can do something really daft' competition and has come up with a real corker.
Bus stop in Central Way facing West
with the new bus lane

For those of you unfamiliar with the area, this is a view of Central Way in Thamesmead facing West towards the roundabout at the junction with Bentham Road and Thamesmere Drive. In this picture, I am standing just across the road from the entrance of Linton Mead Primary School. This is not a particularly busy road although it can get a bit crowded during school time. It is the route taken by buses 401, 472, 229 and 177 from Crossway towards the main bus stop in Thamesmere Drive. I have mentioned this particular death trap in an earlier post.

Once a bus leaves the bus stop in the picture, it then pulls over to the right hand lane in order to turn right at the roundabout ahead. Courteous car driver who are familiar with the area usually pull to the left hand lane in order to allow the buses to turn right.

Buses pull into the right hand lane
so they can turn into Thamesmere Drive

Not any more. 
As you can see, in an act of extraordinary folly, Greenwich Council has decided to turn the nearside lane into a bus lane. There is no reason for any bus to actually use it and none of them do. This is just as well because if they did, we would be presented with the nightmare scenario where buses arriving at the roundabout in the left hand lane and wanting to turn right into Thamesmere Drive would need to cut across the path of the cars, forced into the outside lane and wanting to turn left into Bentham Road.

Anyone thinking that this is a mistake and they meant to put the bus lane in the right hand lane (which might at least make some sense), then take a look at the picture I have taken from the other direction.
Bus turning right into Bentham Road
avoiding the new bus lane
This is a view of Central Way facing East towards the Bentham Road/Thamesmere Drive roundabout and where you will see another bus lane, again in the nearside lane which the buses don't use. This route is used by the 472, B11 and 244. All of these buses pull into the outside lane at this point in order to turn right at the roundabout into Bentham Road.

You may be asking yourselves why anyone would be stupid enough to put a bus lane on a road that buses don't travel down. I have been asking myself this question and have yet to come up with an answer. All this bus lane does is forces cars into the right hand lane, blocking it so the buses can't get out. Smart move Greenwich. In fact, the same thing happens with the bus lane going in the opposite direction. Not only does this piece of folly not help bus movement, it actually hinders it.

You may also notice if you are travelling Eastbound, you get no warning of the approaching bus lane; by the time you see the sign, you are already on top of it. In the few minutes I was there taking pictures, I saw two very near misses caused by cars having to suddenly take evasive action to avoid drivers swerving right in order to avoid driving into the bus lane.

And Finally - 
If anyone wants to point out that cyclists are allowed to use it and shows Greenwich Council's caring attitude to the cycling community, I offer this final piece of evidence.

It's been like this for weeks

Bexley Council Recycling Policy

I will be offering this regular diary report of how Bexley Council carries out it's recycling responsibilities.

Our Recycling bin - last emptied on 22 May 2014

Sunday 3 August 2014
Sunday 27 July 2014

London, where's that?

Episode 5

Recent stories about London posted on the BBC text news page.

Bury St Emund's MP resigns

Item about house prices. No reference to London

Doctor Who musical will feature music by the National Orchestra of Wales

Problems with luggage at Gatwick Airport

Brinford Young Offender's Institute in Wolverhampton receives 'least serious concerns' report

Man stabbed in Stevenage

1 comment:

  1. This new bus lane on central way is a real pain in the a**.
    Not only is it excessively wide, forcing both cars & lorries onto a very narrow strip of lane, but it is excessively long also - running the entire length of central way, virtually redicing the entire road system to one lane. This is absurd, and I think residents need to join together and protest this ridiculously expensive inconvenience.