As residents of Erith, Slade Green and Crayford will be painfully aware, there are certain times when local roads get incredibly congested with traffic heading either to or from the Dartford River Crossing. Certain roads such as Queen's Road by the De Luci fish roundabout, Manor Road and North End Road seem to suffer especially badly at certain times - for some reason Friday tends to be the day with the greatest congestion. The Dartford Crossing currently connects the two South East counties of Kent and Essex, but the M25, A282 and local roads are often backlogged with lines of traffic. However, there is a proposal for a revolutionary network that is estimated to wipe around 10 per cent of traffic off the roads while also improving the air quality in the region. This tentative proposal is for new tram network between Kent and Essex. The project, named KenEx, is aiming to provide a "sustainable public transport infrastructure" between the two counties. The proposals include a 1.2km submerged tunnel built under the Thames, enabling the connection between the north of Kent and south of Essex. A detailed map above shows a number of transport hubs across the two counties that could get their own tram station as part of the project, including Ebbsfleet International, Gravesend, Grays and Purfleet-on-Thames. The aim is to create an "integrated and enhanced local economy", which organisers say has never been enjoyed before by the communities on either side of the river. The project is expected to cost £800m, according to Thames Gateway Tramlink Ltd, which is just 10 per cent of the overall cost of the Lower Thames Crossing proposals. The proposed submerged tunnel under the River Thames would use the same technology that was successfully employed to create the Medway Tunnel, albeit on a somewhat larger scale. Tram travel is widely viewed as a suitable solution to local needs, with local councils and businesses said to be supporting the ambitious project. Immersed tunnel specialists COWI have already visited the site, and said in an article published on the Kent Live website: "We consider that the proposal has great merit and is certainly feasible."Official designs and proposals are "not due for some time", but anyone interested in the project can find out more by clicking here. Organisers say they are keen to hear feedback from locals in order to ensure they can cater to their needs. Personally I would like to see the Kent side be extended to mirror the greater number of stations on the Essex side of the river in the proposal. I feel that the tram system should also cover Dartford, Crayford, Slade Green, Erith and Lower Belvedere. What do you think? As always, you can contact me by Email at email@example.com.
Following my article last week on poisonous Giant Hogweed plants that can be found in the local area; another plant which can cause harm has come to light. Japanese Knotweed is not poisonous, but it can cause extensive damage. Environet UK has revealed the Japanese Knotweed hotspots for spring 2022 by using data from its online tracker heatmap, which is produced from reports of the weed verified by experts. The map shows data from 2019 - when it was launched - to the current day, and allows users to enter their postcode to discover nearby sightings. Click here to see the map and input your postcode. In my case there are eighteen reports of Japanese Knotweed within 4Km of my home address. Japanese Knotweed is a non – indigenous, invasive plant that grows prodigiously and can damage the foundations of buildings; it is very difficult to eradicate – the roots can go as far as ten feet deep, and if even a small portion of root is left in the ground, the entire plant will re – grow in short order. It is illegal in the UK to plant or spread Japanese Knotweed, and when it is pulled up it is legally classified as controlled waste that has to be disposed of by licensed landfill sites. Young shoots of Japanese knotweed are cooked and eaten in some countries – apparently it tastes like super sour rhubarb, but it contains a lot of Oxalic Acid, which is really not very good for you.
The following announcement was published by Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association and the Metropolitan Police:- "Walk & Talks are open to women aged 18 and above, living or working in London, who would like to go for a walk with an officer in their local area and discuss their views on women’s safety. Those who take part in a Walk & Talk can share their views and experiences with officers as they walk through any areas they may feel vulnerable in. Patrols can take place at any time, including those where there is less footfall, traffic and light so officers can get a real sense of what their thoughts are. The aim of Walk & Talks is to start a conversation between members of the public and officers so we can listen and respond to concerns. Simply click here, select your borough and book on".