Fuming over Heathway 'chaos'

John Phillips THE week-long closure of Heathway, Dagenham to deal with a controversial �2.7million revamp will cause chaos, residents associations have warned. Becontree Tenants and Residents Association are predicting the closure, which runs from June 7-14, to rede

John Phillips

THE week-long closure of Heathway, Dagenham to deal with a controversial �2.7million revamp will cause chaos, residents' associations have warned.

Becontree Tenants and Residents' Association are predicting the closure, which runs from June 7-14, to redesign the central strip used by drivers who park illegally near Dagenham Heathway Tube station would be a nightmare.

Darren Rodwell, 39, chairman of a resdients' association in Reede Road, through which traffic will be diverted, said there had been a "stalemate", with a pensioner clipped by a car and a child almost knocked down during the original work.


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Both associations were dismayed at not being informed directly and finding out about the closure through the Recorder.

Barking and Dagenham Council will spend �200,000 on new baskets and trees, redesigning the central strip and bollards to stop parking around the Tube station, after housing executive member Cllr Phil Waker said aspects of the original works had been "cocked up" by Transport for London (TfL).

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But TfL, which put up �1.7million towards the original revamp, said it had not been responsible for either planning or conducting the work, which was completed in May 2008.

Becontree TRA member Graham Letchford, 59, maintained the works had been "botched" by the council.

He said: "The last time, it had no idea what it was doing. This Heathway work has been going on too long. It is blaming Transport for London, but it's just bad planning, most of what it has done was a botched job anyway."

Traffic will be diverted on to the so-called "Heathway hill", between Reede Road and Church Elm Lane, through Rainham Road South. Mr Rodwell said: "I am a little dismayed at yet again finding out through yourself, rather than officials."

Gary Ellison, Barking and Dagenham highways manager, said: "Co-ordination of highway works can be difficult and although these types of closures are inconvenient, we hope that the community understands that everything has been done to minimise the disruption.

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