I was a little surprised this week to see Alsike Road turned into a largely no-parking zone. I would have expected a move like that to involve posting warnings in the same way that closing a road to alter it otherwise does, but the only laminated notices attached to the lamp posts refer to Crossrail work, not to road markings.
Truth be told, it’s not a place I’d want to park my car as there are some pretty active car vandals who regularly smash windows along the entirety of Alsike Road, presumably taking anything of interest from within the vehicles. While crime in Thamesmead is not nearly as high as the perception of crime in Thamesmead, we do see a disproportionate share of car damage and the ground is littered with little crystals of broken glass. That said, when the Abbey Wood station carpark has turned into a no-go zone and the local pay and display is currently a building co-ordination site, a good number of drivers who use the train have been displaced into Alsike Road and it seems like rather poor timing to outlaw parking, especially with no notice. There were a couple of signs put up the night before the paint went down saying there would be work in the area and drivers shouldn’t park there, but not everybody obeyed. I presume some didn’t visit their cars in the time between the notice and the work, and the double yellow lines that now decorate it are punctuated with gaps where cars were in the way at the time.
Gaps that some drivers are taking utmost advantage of, and as one car left, another replaced it, parking in an entirely legal way in a space without lines.
Somebody isn’t happy. They’ve swarmed such cars and surrounded them with orange cones as this picture shows:
On the off chance that the reasons were unclear, the windscreens have been decorated with an explanation, telling drivers that the car must be Moved (their capitals, not mine) or it maybe (sic) towed away:
The notice suggests the work has been carried out by a contractor and going by the poor literacy of the notices, probably a reasonably cheap one. But on whose behalf are they working? Greenwich? Bexley? Peabody?
The road will benefit from being clearer – it’s difficult to negotiate when cars are parked along both sides and buses are constantly trying to pass, but I can’t help thinking it could have been better handled.