"Knowing that you like a spot of NIMBY outrage I thought I'd send you this photo of Creekside Truck Park. 5 x 8-wheeled tippers (empty), 1 x artic full of steel, 2x white vans – one of the white vans completely blocking the pavement. Queue of cars in both directions struggling to get round the obstructed corner, observed Thursday 14th April at 08:20. Cheers, San".
|Creekside Truck Park|
Theoretically, Crossfielders are living next to and surrounded by building sites. However, the conditions created by the construction work going on at Faircharm, Kent Wharf and two Tideway Tunnel sites makes many of us feel like we're actually living on a building site.
No sooner had scaffolding come down on most Crossfields blocks five months ago – after noisy, dusty and highly controversial external works had finished on the estate itself and most of which was unnecessary – than work began in Creekside at Kent Wharf (Bellway Homes) and Faircharm Trading Estate (Workspace plc).
Residents who grapple with the vagaries of the public transport system when they go out to work are lucky to miss the all-day noise – unless they have late starts. In most cases everyone's morning alarm is the sound of trucks queuing up outside the window, a sound heard two blocks away. Having missed the extraordinarily loud noises during the day, when commuters get home they can enjoy the new layer of dust on their doorsteps, windows, paths and road.
Retired folk, shift workers, the unemployed and local workers have no escape. And it can only get worse as summer approaches when residents open their windows to let more dust and noise into their homes. Those living right opposite the Faircharm and Kent Wharf developments may find themselves adopting a rather unhealthy siege mentality, if they don't already. This was today's offering (movie to follow):
|Average day on Creekside|
|Two of several cement mixers lined up along Creekside (they can't turn off their engines!)|
Not just Faircharm...
Without any notice whatsoever, for the past two weeks Creekside has been closed to through traffic by Murphys, the contractors for Tideway Tunnel.
Whilst inconvenient for local residents, this has the upside of stopping the road being used as a rat-run when this week Deptford Church Street was partially closed by – guess who – Murphys.
Tideway Tunnel did give notice for that – the first newsletter said it would be overnight with the future prospect of an 11 month closure; a subsequent letter said it wouldn't just be overnight but in fact would be for the next 8 months. A road sign at the start of the newly marked northbound single lane says 52 weeks (er...that's 12 months), whilst at the start of the single file southbound lane it says 48 weeks.
So far, traffic has run fairly smoothly; the 47 bus's Wavelengths stops on either side of the road have been moved south where there is room for overtaking (but with NO SHELTERS – not good at all). HGVs have been spotted sneaking up Frankham and Giffin Street (using the high street as a rat-run – but that was already happening), whilst emergency vehicles have been slowed down, as we predicted. In quiet moments, flashy types have been seen showing off as they expertly navigate the snaking single lanes at rally driving speeds.
But on the whole, it looks as if traffic may be avoiding the area and possibly clogging up routes and rat-runs in the surrounding area instead. Of course, the real test will be when there is an accident elsewhere or one of the tunnels is closed.
Meanwhile, traffic on Creekside is often blocked by lorries entering and exiting Faircharm, holding up local residents' arrival and exit. Not that they can find a parking space when they return during the day, since spaces are filled with construction workers' cars – despite signs for Residents Only parking. Residents Permits (rejected by generous but short-sighted residents previously) may be a priority now, if not for the future – since there will be no parking on the new developments.
We'll take a more detailed look at the woes of living in a construction site in a next post or two (there are no joys). We'd love to know what Lewisham Council think, and hope they will be able to help, though it all seems to be out of their control.