Two men and a digger: slow going on closed Beddington Lane

Are Conways, who are widening Beddington Lane to make it easier for the thousands of rubbish-laden HGVs to reach the Viridor incinerator, staging a go-slow?

Beddington Lane is closed three months, maybe more

How can a major road be closed and the contractors not work on Saturday and Sunday, as has been the case so far on this project?

Residents and businesses in the area are becoming very concerned at the lack of progress in the £3.5million “improvements” that they were promised for road, which runs a parallel route to the Purley Way, going from Mitcham Common south to Beddington.

Even on weekdays, there doesn’t appear to be much urgency among the (small) workforce while this important thoroughfare is closed to traffic. On Wednesday this week, all appeared quiet except for two men and a digger half way up the lane.

The word “improvement” is generally understood in Sutton as a euphemism for making the road strong enough for the 400,000 tons of other people’s waste and rubbish that will come in and out the Beddington incinerator each year.

“If Sutton Council cared about residents, it could have paid the contractors to get the job done quickly,” according to Nick Mattey, the independent councillor in Beddington.

The incinerator is being operated by Viridor under a 25-year, £1billion contract to burn rubbish for the South London Waste Partnership, which includes Croydon as well as Sutton, Kingston and Merton. In recent weeks, the incinerator has been undergoing commissioning trials, with plumes of what Viridor assures the public is merely steam coming from the plant. It is due to begin full operation later this year.

The Beddington Lane closures and road works were due to have started on January 25. Yet within a few days of the “essential work” beginning (ever so slowly) on what was supposed to be a three-month project, Sutton Council was announcing that it would now take… at least four months.

Not unreasonably, since it was Boris Johnson, when Mayor of London, who effectively signed off on imposing an industrial-scale waste incinerator in the midst of a residential area, with schools and hospitals nearby, Transport for London has agreed to stump up half the cost of the “improvement” works to patch up the road.

Whether this will prove to be enough seems doubtful: Sutton originally asked Johnson for £11million to do a proper job.

The real reason for the road closures is to strengthen the highway for the thousands of HGVs which will be bringing rubbish to Viridor’s Beddington Lane incinerator

When Johnson asked Sutton Council how many jobs the incinerator would create, Sutton’s response was 40. The then Mayor pointed out that to invest £11million on a road-widening scheme to create just 40 jobs was ludicrous. Sutton was forced to stump up the money itself.

No one thought of asking Viridor Environmental Credits, the charity arm of the incineration company, to direct some of its cash to the road scheme rather than lavishing their funds on improvements to church halls where Wallington’s MP, Tom Brake, and his Liberal Democrat activists have their meetings.

Lots of signs near Beddington Lane, but not much sign of any works going on

Sutton Council was clearly wary that, in closing Beddington Lane for several months for the benefit of Viridor’s HGVs, would not be popular with residents. So they devised a cover story.

So now Sutton is to get an environmentally friendly cycle lane, for bicyclists to enjoy a smooth and safe route right to the gates of what is potentially the biggest environmental disaster to be inflicted on south London for decades.

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This entry was posted in Boris Johnson, Environment, Mayor of London, Nick Mattey, Sutton Council, TfL, Transport, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two men and a digger: slow going on closed Beddington Lane

  1. It’s the same on Dartmouth Rd in Forest Hill, part of the South Circular

  2. Now not opening until 30th April, 4 months on a piece of road a third of a mile long ! Their not called CONway for nothing !

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