Ealing Council Going Round the Bend?

Southfield Recreation Ground path saga continues

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The seemingly simple and possibly unnecessary task of making changes to a path in a local park has turned into something of a saga. Work done last month is now being ripped up and started again.

Park users were sceptical when they initially noticed work commencing on the reconfiguration of the path through Southfield Recreation Ground. There was general puzzlement as to why the work was being undertaken and why the expense was considered worth taking on in the first place.

However, soon after the project was completed barriers went up around the site of the original work at the north end of the park. In response to a number of messages from local people about this we contacted the Council.

A council spokesperson responded, "Ealing carried out a site inspection of the paths earlier this month, and discovered that the work done at the north end of the park did not match the plans. The contractors were instructed to redo the work correctly and it is expected that they will do this at their own expense."

One local resident who regularly walks in the park said, "There was never a problem with these paths and I have never met anyone who thought they needed changing. What we will be left with is an unsightly patchwork of different coloured tarmac which will be an ugly monument to waste and incompetence. "

The initial work rounded the edges of the path at a crossroads just by an alleyway that exits the park at its north end.

Southfield ward councillor Gary Malcolm said: "It is sad that a relatively simple set of works is going to have to be redone. The aim was to ensure that both cyclists and pedestrians can use the park with less conflict. Over the past few years there has been a large increase in cyclists and a few near misses. The Southfield Liberal Democrats want to see more people cycling so people don't have to rely so much on cars - but we wish this to be done safely. I hope the Council take measures to ensure it monitors its contractors better in the future."

Another park user said, "I can't understand the thinking behind the work but the changes if anything seem to have marginally added to the danger of kids on bikes and roller blades steaming around the corner at this junction and crashing into something. The right angled turns made them slowdown to a certain extent."



August 26, 2010