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BICKLEY: Council width restrictions 'a botched job'
MOTORISTS suffered damage to their cars when they drove through narrow width restrictions put in place by the council.
This morning Bromley Council closed the bridge outside Bickley train station after completing work to install width restrictions only last night.
Residents and people working by the bridge in Southborough Road say traffic stretched back for 100 yards, cars got stuck in the middle of the bridge and several clipped their wing mirrors.
Newly installed posts put in place either side of the bridge to restrict the width are covered in marks and scratches from cars struggling to pass through.
As part of work to restrengthen the bridge, the restrictions are designed to ensure cars driving over are no bigger than 4x4 vehicles.
Harvey Cook, who lives nearby in Gardenia Drive, clipped both wing mirrors of his VW Golf.
The 37-year-old said: “I drove through there as slowly as I could.
“Whoever was responsible has made a big mistake.
“It seems to me to be a botched job.”
Terry Hayes is a travel advisor at Allways Travel, situated on the bridge.
The 47-year-old said: “I had to fold my wing mirrors because it was so tight.
“A lady got stuck in the middle of the road and had to go via the pavement.
“I've seen a lot of people hitting their wing mirrors.
“Traffic was stretching back 100 yards.”
Sandra Kehoe, who works at Satchs sweet shop inside Bickley station, said: “I got here at 6.30am when traffic started coming through.
“I saw about four cars when I pulled up.
“Two clipped their mirrors and a van had all its side scraped, a Bentley also got scraped.
“Every so many cars someone was clipping their mirrors.
“There was traffic as far away as I could see.”
Helen and Tim Hammond’s driveway backs out onto the bridge.
Mr Hammond, a 43-year-old black cab driver, said: “I can't believe they are legally allowed to put a structure like that right next to an entrance.
“Your average Bickley mum won't get through, there are thousands of 4x4s round here.”
His wife Helen, a 42-year-old teacher, said: “The problem is now we can't go into our drive and also there's a problem backing out, and the way they have positioned it so close to our drive.
“I went outside one hour after it opened and picked up three wing mirrors and a fairing.
“Passengers would have to get out to help cars through.
“The gap is ridiculously narrow, I don't understand why it has to be so narrow.”
Bromley Council's portfolio holder for environment and leisure, Councillor Colin Smith, says the width will be widened and the road reopened by midday tomorrow (May 9).
He said: "It was clear from the number of complaints there was an issue.
"Despite the measurements being legally correct, it was causing inconvenience to many people.
"Urgent adjustments need to be made and the road was closed to allow those to be made."
Were you an affected driver this morning? Leave your comment below.