‘Shambles’ in Romford’s South Street.

David Ainsworth was appalled to see the ‘shambles’ caused by temporary arrangements in Romford’s South Street on Tuesday.

Today he writes in the Havering Daily:

I refer to a shambles caused by poor temporary arrangements in Romford’s main street – South Street by Romford Railway Station on Tuesday 1st June.

I was present at 3:45pm, when South Street was closed to all traffic outside No’s 113-117 South Street, (“The World’s End” public house). There was a bus diversionary route for vehicles travelling north – via Victoria Road and Romford’s Inner-Ring Road, so missing out Western Road bus stops.However, many bus drivers weren’t informed. In less than 15 minutes I saw four buses head north along South Street (an 86,165,252 + another route).  This caused considerable difficulty as South Street is a single carriageway, carrying traffic only northwards. Here bus drivers faced barriers with works in progress. The only other way out was via Exchange Street, which also had barriers erected and work in progress thus causing great difficulty.

I saw the 165 bus driver looking bemused at what to do next, so I approached to inform him of a diversionary route via Victoria Road. He said he hadn’t received any information about this major road closure.  It’s therefore safe to assume other bus drivers involved also weren’t aware of this.

Recommendation : In future I suggest information about major closures is disseminated to your driving employees before taking their buses out.

Umpteen bus routes serve Romford Station and there was chaos by bus stops as people poured out of Romford Station.  There were notices on bus stops indicating alternative stops where buses would serve.  This seemed to be unclear and many were confused.  Many stayed lining-up at stops which were no longer being served. With such queues many joined on the end as they’d usually do, and queues grew. It’s worth observing Romford has a growing ethnic population who don’t understand English well, so such persons were certainly not “in the know“.

There was absolutely no uniformed supervision at all. In London Transport days, such a high number of temporary changes would have secured the attendance of an Inspector to advise passengers. In view of paragraph 1 (above) such an Inspector should also have been there to inform drivers who hadn’t been briefed.  Why no Uniformed TfL employee on hand to control this situation – if such a person had been in attendance, it wouldn’t have become the shambles it was.  

Muster an Inspector to manage such major situations, as used to be the case.
As for Transport for London (TfL) – well, infants could have done better!

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