�200,000 to put right Heathway 'cock-up'

John Phillips COUNCIL chiefs are being forced to stump up hundreds of thousands of pounds to put right the �2.7million Heathway revamp. Bosses at Transport for London, which forked out �1.7million on the works, have been blamed for shortcomings, which include a central

John Phillips

COUNCIL chiefs are being forced to stump up hundreds of thousands of pounds to put right the �2.7million Heathway revamp.

Bosses at Transport for London, which forked out �1.7million on the works, have been blamed for shortcomings, which include a central strip originally introduced to let motorists overtake stationary buses and "add visual interest", but which has been parked on illegally by hundreds of motorists.

Emergency vehicles have been stopped getting through. TfL has denied being responsible.


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Nearly 170 parking tickets were slapped on rogue drivers in Heathway, Dagenham - many parking on the strip - in October 2008 alone, with similar numbers issued each month since.

Village ward Labour Cllr Phil Waker, speaking to the Recorder, described aspects of the works as a "cock-up" while housing executive member Labour Cllr Liam Smith told the assembly in February a compromise had been struck with TfL.

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Barking and Dagenham Council is to spend �100,000 to redesign the central strip.Another �100,000 will be spent to put up trees and hanging baskets left out of the original plans.

And more cash will be used to install traffic bollards to stop motorists parking near Dagenham Heathway Tube station.

Cllr Waker slammed some of the Heathway improvements, including traffic lights which stayed green "for just a few seconds", after an assembly meeting on February 25.

A TfL spokesman said: "The London borough of Barking and Dagenham is the highway authority for the Heathway and had full responsibility for the design and development of the scheme, which TfL provided some funding for in 2007 and 2008.

"TfL did not prepare the scheme design and all design decisions for this scheme were the responsibility of the borough.''

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