Traffic Scheme Analysis Programme


APPOLD STREET, ERITH - ACCESS BLOCKED

This scheme causes significant additional problems for residents in the area. The Council is unable to explain why it was done or why it has been left in place when it is obviously so detrimental to local people and the environment.

Appold Street used to be the way to get to Abbey Breakers and the other businesses along Wheatley Terrace. The blocking of access along this road seem to coincide with the construction of Morrisons supermarket. It is a very useful access route to get to Morrisons supermarket, Morrisons garage and Abbey Breakers, etc, as well as to cut through to the main carparks for Erith Town Centre. Blocking this route adds to the already significant congestion in Manor Road, which at times can be extremely severe and prevents local residents from going about their business more efficiently and expediently. It was briefly opened up again while Bexley Council did recent works on Manor Road, but blocked off again as soon as the works were done.

The Manor Road nightmare is also compounded by the KFC, whose drive through cannot cope at times with the number of vehicles queuing for service. Consequently at such times the vehicles spill out onto Manor Road, completely congesting one side of the road and blocking the route to Slade Green.

  • Causes people to have to go out of their way
  • Compounds congestion and pollution in Manor Road
  • Stops people getting to where they need to be efficiently and expediently
  • Wastes people's time causing additional delays when trying to get to the shops
  • Removes a potential congestion overflow route


Correspondence regarding this particular traffic scheme

First enquiry to Bexley Council

TRAFFIC SCHEME ENQUIRY FORM

18/10/16

Dear Sir or Madam,

Re: Blocking Of Appold Street, Erith, Preventing Direct Access To
Wheatley Terrace Road, Morrisons Supermarket and Erith Town Centre Car Parks

Could your department please provide the following information regarding this scheme?

1) What was the intended purpose of the scheme?

2) Why was the scheme deemed necessary?

3) Who requested / suggested the scheme?

4) Who authorised the implementation of the scheme?

5) How much did the scheme cost (please include any subsequent modification costs)?

6) How was the scheme paid for?

Resident / Public Consultation

1) Were any residents / members of the public directly consulted about this scheme?

2) If so, which / how many residents / members of the public were directly consulted?

3) Out of those directly consulted, how many responded to the consultation?

4) Out of those that responded, how many were in favour of the scheme?

5) Out of those that responded, how many were not in favour of the scheme?

6) Was there any other general public notification of this intended scheme undertaken?


First reply from Bexley Council

13/01/17

Dear Mr Tarrant,

Appold Street, Erith - Details Regarding ‘Stopping-Up’

Thank you for letter dated 4 January 2017 regarding the closing up of Appold Street to through traffic.

As you will no doubt be aware this happened many years ago and since then we have experienced several office moves and on each occasion there has been a need to reduce the amount of archive space taken up by historical records.

Unfortunately in case of the Traffic Services Team, as we very rarely get asked for this sort of information it was decided that the records would no longer be held and were disposed of.

I am sorry that we are unable to be of help on this occasion.

Yours sincerely,
Bruce Woodhams
Senior Traffic Engineer - Traffic Services


Second letter to Bexley Council

26/01/17

Re: Blocking Of Appold Street, Erith, Preventing Direct Access To
Wheatley Terrace Road, Morrisons Supermarket and Erith Town Centre Car Parks

Dear Mr Woodhams,

Thank you for your letter dated 13th January 2017 regarding the above scheme.

We are asking Bexley Council and some other local authorities to provide information relating to the implementation of certain traffic schemes for the purpose of analysing the reasoning behind them. The schemes in question appear to serve no useful purpose and are notably retrogressive, causing additional problems and inconvenience for the motorist. The congestion factor of the particular schemes has also been notably higher and they are therefore green unfriendly, making life more difficult, wasting people’s time and causing an increase in congestion and pollution. Many people feel that this is not a desirable outcome for today’s traffic management programme as, in our opinion, for a number of reasons, we should be working to reduce congestion and get traffic to where it needs to be as efficiently and expediently as possible and not the reverse.

We would like to give the authorities an opportunity to provide an explanation as to the reasoning behind the schemes in question, some of which do date back a number of years. We are also interested in the financial cost as many people feel that too much public money is wasted on schemes that not only serve no useful purpose, but are positively a backward step leaving us with situations worse than we previously had. In our opinion, all of the schemes we are enquiring about fit into this category in some way, some having very serious negative attributes.

The Traffic Scheme Enquiry Form is part of a Traffic Scheme Analysis Programme and is a generic form. If some of the information is not available regarding this particular scheme, and has not been digitalised, that is not a problem but would you please provide an explanation as to why this road is blocked and, if you can, answer the four questions on the abbreviated form enclosed. Bearing in mind the problems it causes, if there is not sufficient good reason for having this scheme in place, we would like to see it removed and access restored so as to help alleviate some of the problems we are currently facing in this area. Many thanks.


Could your department please provide the following information regarding this scheme?
If you do not have all of the information, please provide what information you can.

1) What was the intended purpose of the scheme?

2) Why was the scheme deemed necessary?

3) Who requested / suggested the scheme?

4) Who authorised the implementation of the scheme?

Yours faithfully,
Mr DJ Tarrant


Second reply from Bexley Council

03/02/17

Dear Mr Tarrant,

Appold Street, Erith - Details Regarding Closure to Through Traffic

Thank you for both your letters dated 26 January 2017, seeking information about the closing up of the way through from Appold Street to Wheatley Terrace Road for vehicular traffic. I would also draw your attention to my letter to you dated 13 January 2017 on the same subject.

As I stated in that letter, this change to the highway network was effected many years ago and we do not have any records concerning the background or justification of it; neither are we going to provide any answers to your questions for which we have no records.

As far as the Council is concerned, there is no need for this route to be opened up again and we do not have the resources available at this time to consider it further.

Yours sincerely,
Bruce Woodhams
Senior Traffic Engineer - Traffic Services


Third letter to Bexley Council

03/02/17

Dear Mr Tarrant,

Appold Street, Erith - Details Regarding Closure to Through Traffic

Mr Woodhams Traffic Scheme Engineering Services Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7AT

01/03/17

Re: Blocking Of Appold Street, Erith, Preventing Direct Access To
Wheatley Terrace Road, Morrisons Supermarket and Erith Town Centre Car Parks.

Dear Mr Woodhams,

Thank you for your reply dated 03/02/17.
Many people in the public domain feel that our local authorities spend significant amounts of public money on schemes that make life more difficult for us and yet when we want something done of obvious benefit, we generally get a poor response. We except that you cannot provide an explanation as to why this road is closed but you should be made aware that the closure of this route causes significant problems for the people in this area. In our opinion, it should never have been done in the first place and it seems, from what you have said that nobody knows why it was. This kind of traffic scheming forces people to go out of their way, wastes people’s time and adds to congestion and pollution. This particular scheme makes it much more difficult simply to get to the local supermarket and back. Traffic along Manor Road and the James Watt Way roundabout is very heavy at times and there is often significant congestion. The unblocking of this route would greatly help towards solving some of these problems. Its closure is extremely unhelpful.

The route was opened temporarily a while back to provide access during the implementation of the traffic calming measures in Manor Road. It would have been good if it could have been left open. I understand from your letter that as far as the Council is concerned there is no need to open this route up again, however, I must point out that this not about as far as the Council is concerned, this is about as far as the public are concerned. That is the residents and workers that have to live and function in this area and contend with the all problems we have, many of which have been compounded by some of the actions and inactions of the various authorities. After all, the public ultimately have to put up with what the various authorities do or don’t do, pay the bill and the salaries of those responsible. In my experience, which is considerable, this is something that always gets conveniently overlooked by the authorities, as unfortunately do the public. For us, there is great need to open up this route again. We would then be able to get to the local shops and supermarket and back with less of a problem. It would be nice to see a more understanding and empathetic change of heart from our own local authority and something done to benefit the people for once and occasionally perhaps a helpful idea taken on board. However, thank you for your communications regarding this matter.

Yours faithfully,
Mr DJ Tarrant

End of correspondence


Judgement: This was a useful access route, providing congestion relief and another expedient passage to reach the supermarket and the local firms in this location, including Abbey Breakers.

At around the time the supermarket was constructed, for some absurd reason Bexley Council decided to block it off. According to the correspondence we have received, no one knows why this was done or is prepared to admit to it. However, the fact that it was causes additional congestion, time wasting and pollution. This scheme is green unfriendly, completely unhelpful and a definite thumbs down!