Thursday, September 01, 2011

Aldborough Road Works – Access to King George Hospital

I’m probably jumping the gun here, as BT, Sky and Transco have not got involved yet…..YET!

Ron Jeffries Reports:

Back in July Essex and Suffolk Water announced that they will be renewing the water mains in Oaks Lane and all the roads which the Lane bounds - Leyswood, Mendip, Brendon, etc. Work would commence on 1st September.
No problem you may well believe - and you would be dead right but for the fact that in August London Underground informed us that they will be renewing the embankment on the Central Line between Chase Lane and Barkingside Station, East Side, starting on 15th August. Entry to the embankment would be made through Aldborough Hatch Farm, starting where Oaks Lane and Chase Lane converge. Again, no problem, but for the fact that there would be six lorries a day bringing rubble onto the site and six lorries returning empty - and these lorries would trundle down Oaks Lane where the water mains are erupting. Both jobs would run for a few weeks and even months!

To cut a long story short - and it is a long story, involving Cllr Vanessa Cole and me trying to rouse not only Essex and Suffolk Water, but London Underground and Redbridge Council as well. At first we were assured that they had told Redbridge Council, but it soon became crystal clear that whilst some bits of Redbridge Council might well have been told about all this, other parts had not - and no-one had thought to tell the other bit nor the other part. So Environmental Health and Highways knew some of this, other lads and lasses in their centrally heated offices knew nowt, honest Govenor!

Vanessa and I suggested that a meeting on the ground might be a good thing and thus it was that just before eleven on 18th August Vanessa and I met with seven men dressed in yellow jackets from Essex and Suffolk Water, although why they needed to send seven was never explained, nor did we dare ask the question.

Shortly afterwards Solomon from Redbridge Council arrived, but there was no sign of the Man from the London Underground (MFTLU). He eventually turned up 30 minutes late having been delayed on the London Underground. With that we walked up Aldborough Road North and into Oaks Lane. The MFTLU admitted that this was the first time he had been in the area, for he did all his planning from maps and Google Earth. As we approached the junction with Roy Gardens, we came upon a yellow sign put there by Essex and Suffolk telling us that they were starting on the water mains on 1st September.

I will not bore you with the discussions which followed, except to say that they involved pavements and lorries, diggers and pipes, plant and machinery in the roadway, and such like. Suffice to say that the Project Man from S & E and his opposite number from LU swaped mobile numbers and have agreed to liaise very closely over the next few weeks to make sure that when lorries are rumbling along Oaks Lane, there are no water mains erupting.

The MFTLU agreed that there must have been some funny business going on with delivery of letters advising residents as the homes in Oaks Lane nearest Chase Lane (and the most involved in all this!) had not received a letter. Barbara (who walks the area with her little white dog) came out to confront the MFTLU and gave him a few bits of her mind in such a polite and gentle way that the MFTLU almost burst into tears on the spot. The first Barbara (and her little white dog) knew about this was last Monday morning when men started laying a roadway into the field opposite where she lives.

And so we all shook hands and wished each other well as we went about our lawful business once more.

And so another day ends here in Aldborough Hatch. Except……..

We then learn that Transport for London want to close off the A12 Eastbound for two nights in September - diverting traffic to Forest Road where we have the infamous low bridge at Fairlop Station. Thankfully Cllr Vanessa Cole sorted that one out and the diversion is now to the south.

And there’s more ……..

Today 1st September, Irene Kirby, Secretary of the Ilford East Scouts received this. I do not know where the first page eminated from - presumably the Gas Company. But you will see that they only talk about the 296 and the 396 - not the 66.

I am now trying to find out if anyone at the London Borough of Redbridge knows about this? And if so, are they aware that in addition to having the 296 up ARN, we also have lorries with gravel? And is anyone going to tell us about all this? I assume that bus stops for the 296, 396 and 66 going East will not be operating between ARN and Barley Lane. And folk - especially the elderly - need to be told.

Those with appointments at King George Hospital may also wish to note that between 26th September to 6th November:

Traffic will be banned from turning left or right from the Eastern Avenue into either Hainault Road or Barley Lane. Hainault Road will be reduced to one lane, between Billet Road and Eastern Avenue, which will operate one way only in the southbound direction. Traffic will be allowed to turn left or right from Hainault Road onto the Eastern Avenue but will not be able to cross into Barley Lane.
Barley Lane will be reduced to one lane, between Chadwell Heath Lane and Eastern Avenue, which will operate one way only in the northbound direction. Traffic will be allowed to turn left or right from Barley Lane onto the Eastern Avenue but will not be able to cross into Hainault Road. There will be no left turn from Chadwell Heath Lane into Barley Lane.


  1. Thanks for this Ron - horrifying! The claims from the MFTLU that he does his work from maps and Google Earth are open to challenge. It is quite evident that he does it from Cloud Cuckoo Land.

    As to the involvement (or lack thereof) of Redbridge Council, their competence would be unacceptable to a parish council.

    Well done Vanessa and Ron. A formidable duo - where would we be without you?

  2. Re: "I do not know where the first page eminated from - presumably the Gas Company."

    As the Gas Board fortunately do not attempt to run bus services, I would suggest that it comes from London Buses ...

    "But you will see that they only talk about the 296 and the 396 - not the 66."

    That is because the 66 turns neither right nor left at Little Heath and will, therefore, not be subject to diversion. Delays, of course, are another matter ...

    "I assume that bus stops for the 296, 396 and 66 going East will not be operating between ARN and Barley Lane."

    Again, the 66 will not be affected but passengers wishing to use the other two routes will have to make use of the 66 and change west of ARN.

  3. every year this happens here or somewhere near here,last year i wrote to the road planning in redbridge to congradulate them on the chaos caused last time there was road works in this area.(couldnt organise a in a brewery).i have a child at little heath school.this is a special needs school which has about 30 different forms of transport picking up and taking children home to all parts of the borough and other surounding ones too.obviously these two departments of our evermore wonderful and considerate borough do not talk to each other....i would like to challenge the bosses who make these decsions to sit on one of these buses at hometime and see how stressful it is for the children who have trouble with waiting/chaotic/noisy situations to see what its like to be in the actual situation that they create...

  4. My thanks to Ron Jeffries as he along with other residents are my extra 'eyes & ears' and well you need them with TfL/London Underground, Water, Gas & Electric companies!

    All companies & organisations wishing to dig up the road for whatever reason or divert buses/tipper lorries (of whatever size) should note that they should inform EVERYONE on the Council from the Chief Exec down and maybe then the information will filter through.

    As others know, TfL are a law unto themselves and despite vitual tattooing who should they contact across their foreheads, their lines of communication to the Council is extremely poor and very frustrating for those of us who have to deal with the aftermath.

    I would politely point out to Knowsie that if TfL/London Buses & the Gas Company had their act together the annual scout event involving nearly 2,000 children would not have had to been cancelled at the last minute; plus I am sure that residents would be able to catch an alternative bus - however is it likely such information will be posted on the appropriate bus stops?

    Fortunately we DO have some execellent Highways Officers - who usually take the brunt of complaints mainly through other agencies not informing them or giving them little time to respond.

    If you are in any doubt of what Council Highways officers have to deal with then please consider this - when Ron & I were out and about with said contractors and the Man From London Underground (the one who looked on Google Earth), his comment when we walked into Oaks Lane by Aldborough Hatch Farm was ' oh yes, this is a fair bit narrower than it looks on-line'...............

    I will leave others to draw their own conclusions!


  5. To be fair to Redbridge Council these are not their works. The works are on behalf of Essex & Suffolk Water, and London Underground. The highway authority "organising" the chaos at Little Heath would appear to be Transport for London.

  6. I never suggested that TfL/LBL and BG had their act together - I merely corrected a few errors in the original post regarding the 66 route. Please note that I added to this that "Delays, of course, are another matter ...".

    Apologies to Cllr Cole if she thinks I understated the problems. It is an appalling state of affairs but that does not mean that misleading information should be allowed to stand. The remaining service that will be provided by the 66 will, I am sure, be vitally important to some users and I felt that they should not be further confused by errors in this blog.

    Cllr Cole asks " ... is it likely such information will be posted on the appropriate bus stops?"

    Of course, I can't speak for LBL but I have noticed - on several occasions - that LBL have been very good at posting clear details of diversions at bus stops. In fact, on one occasion a young lady in an LBL van turned up at the stop I was waiting at to post details of an ongoing diversion which had been caused by an RTA only an hour before! Such prompt service cannot always be guaranteed, though ...