What is local government ultimately about if it is not to do with delivering responsive, high quality services efficiently?


T he plan this week was to set out briefly the reasons for relaunching this web site several years after it was "retired". Very simply, it was the culmination of several elementary "highway maintenance" issues that finally led to the resurrection of this web site. So here is the third update in the current relaunch which includes the two items that were "the last straw".  


T he precise location for this presentation is the pavement (footway) approximately opposite 146 Fleet Road, NW3, a One-Way street.

      There are a number of "highway" issues at this location, but for this presentation, only one of them will be briefly explored.

      The severely damaged paving at this "dropped crossing" has existed for many months going back to a time not long after it was reinstated. I have "walked" to this location with Officers from Camden's Environment Service on 19th April 2017 and have also been sending other Council Officers photographs via a link on my personal web site since 22nd February 2017 - with no "result" or response.

      The conclusion I draw from this is that highway defects like those displayed here may have been re- prioritised to a lower level - or, perhaps, even not at all.

      Nevertheless, this stands out in stark contrast to the recently very well executed complete resurfacing and repairs of the "estate roads" within the "gated" Dunboyne Housing Estate in Parkhill Road a few hundred metres away - which was, considering its significantly lower levels of pedestrian traffic - in very much better condition.

      Clearly, "housing estate roads" are important but shouldn't public highways be maintained to, at least, the same standards?

      The "other" issues at this location, that are not dealt with in this presentation are:


This is a "one-way" street and there is a "reserved" disabled parking space straddling the "dropped" crossing. It seems likely that the driver(s) of the vehicle(s) for whom the space is reserved are not disabled because the driver's door opens directly into the traffic down the one way street. If it is the passenger of the vehicle for whom the disabled parking space has been reserved would it not have been significantly better if the kerb was NOT dropped so the disabled person for whom the space has been reserved would have a much safer horizontal (non-sloping) landing surface?


Why position this reserved disabled parking space where it is when it would have made far more sense to have located it on the opposite side of the road and out of the way of the exit/entrance to the "gated" privately owned "Tranley Mews" almost opposite the dropped crossing.  

Fig 1 -

"Dropped Crossing" Fleet Road, NW3 "One Way" Street towards camera

Fig 2 -

"Dropped Crossing" Fleet Road, NW3.
Is Parking Ticket being issued? (note "invisible parking suspension" facing the wrong direction)


Fig 2a - Tranley Mews - gated entrance to privately owned property - almost directly oppossite dropped kerb on other side of one-way road (Fleet Road).



T he photograph on the right was taken on 13th August 2017. The location of this "knock-down" is in Platts Lane near its junction with Finchley Road. The situation has remained as shown in the photograph for about 5 months.

      Clearly, the "knock down" may either have been reported to the Council by the public and/or it may also have been "picked up" during the "scouting regime".

      Obviously, this information must have been passed on to a Council contractor who responded to the "incident", cleared the site of debris and temporarily erected barriers to alert/protect other road users of possible dangers as shown in Fig. 3..... and nothing has changed since that time!

      The really sad thing about this situation (and so many others that I will deal with) is that this poor quality service probably arises out of inadequate contract conditions and specifications and, besides letting down the people who live and work in Camden, also unfairly and unnecessarily damages the reputation of the well-known Contractor that Camden employs.

      Come on Camden - we are all in this together - so what is there to hide? Make contract specifications available to the public like some Authorities do. Ultimately, it is the public who pay for this service anyway so, what reasons are there for not making these specifications public? In fact, if you did, there would be many more eyes looking to improve the service and, possibly, reduce costs.   

Fig 3 -

"Knock-Down" Platts Lane Junction Finchley Road about 5 months ago.



Updated 14 August 2017

free web