Roadworks Roll On

Surely everyone likes a nice bit of pavement don’t they? In Twickenham they’re all the rage, although it’s now becoming hard to remember a time when there weren’t any road or pavement works going on somewhere in the town centre. When Ian Curtis sang, “Where will it end?” in Day of the Lords it’s unlikely he was commenting on roadworks in his own hometown of Macclesfield but he might well have been. London Road, King Street and Church Street are all in a ‘state of transition’ at the moment but as we wait for them to finish, if you do have any memories of a time before roadworks, please feel free to share them on our Nostalgia page.

Roadworks roll on

Roadworks roll on


Filed under Local Issues & News, Pix of the Week, Random Stuff, Twickenham Action Plan

37 responses to “Roadworks Roll On

  1. Re Twickenham station – is this the council’s responsibility to keep clean?

    • michelangelo

      No. It’s the responsibility of Network Rail.

    • Anonymous

      Er, I think it’s South West Train’s responsibility. Network Rail does tracks and, strangely, those parts of footbridges which are over tracks, not the staircases! C.f. Strawberry Hill where the staircases have been refaced and cleaned by SWT, but the bridge itself is a disgrace.

    • michelangelo

      OK. Thank you. Stand corrected, but it’s not the Council’s responsibility. A bit like the main trunk roads e.g. Chertsey Road, being the responsibility of
      TFL and not the Council. Not a lot of people know that!

    • illiad1

      oh yeah, i remember… before ‘privatisation’ you were waiting on the platform for a train, saw it stopping just a few yards away… the guard got out on the track, to the train, and gave him a fuse or something, five minutes later, the train got to the platform!! 🙂
      Nowadays it worse, the guard cannot do this, the ‘tracks’ are owed by a different company to the one he works for!!! So now, you have to wait half an hour for the ‘track guy’ to do the same thing! 😡
      Its similar to the guy working at the pub, cannot go next door to the cafe, and start helping customers there, it is not the company he works for, even though the job is basically the same…

  2. Nicki

    The nice old red brick paving along Church Street and the entrance to Queens Road has been wrecked by the works with tarmac patching in the gaps – is this all going to get sorted before the works are complete?

  3. Dangerous Dave

    This whole thing is like applying lipstick on a corpse!! This will only serve to allow us all to gain quicker access to the charity shops which is basically what Twickers has become. So sad, pointless and certainly not an improvement for any future vision. Indeed, driving through Brushweed high street , you are unaware of the river, the views, Historic Eel pie island and one of the most amazing spaces along the Thames. LBRUT you are a disgrace for thinking you’re doing some good. What an unbelievable waste of public money.

    • illiad1

      those trying to find that street, ‘Brushweed’ is a bush that usually rolls along large open, deserted, spaces… LOL

  4. Sally

    Please please Leelcampbell tell us all you were kidding about the council not forking out for the cleaning machine needed for the new pavement? No?
    From Pizza Express onward the pavement is grey. Grey with a faint pattern showing, all that remains of the white/beige stone underneath the sludge. There is simply no point in building anything-public square, new pavement, if there are no extra funds avaliable to clean it.
    Twickenham is looking very grubby and that’s before various matches bring an upswing in vomit, spilled beer, etc etc. Whatever pavement goes down needs to be able to be cleaned easliy and frequently. It will need it.
    Perhaps our leaders have short attention spans and once they have seen the nice new pavement they get bored and wander off in search of another project.

    • illiad1

      well I guess June will be filled with the drone of the new pavement cleaners tying to do their job… {rolleyes}

    • Cleo Talbot

      Well said, Sally.
      Now that it’s dirty, the new paving looks little better than the concrete slabs that were there before. What’s the point in using a quality material on something that’s inevitably going to get very dirty and covered in chewing gum?
      I wonder how much all of this has cost us . . . ?

    • Sally

      Yes. Looking at the 1964 film, another thing in those days apart from the bustling and well stocked shops? It was clean and well cared for.
      Central Twickenham now is dirty whichever way you approach.. The pavements are not cleaned/jetwashed anywhere near adequately.. There seems to be nobody in authority with eyes in their heads… Take the station. It’s filthy. The steps are very seldom well swept and I suspect never jetwashed. The windows are thick with dirt . Even the odd, box shaped skylight on top of the building has broken slats and filthy panes of glass.Its no good blaming the state of station or the streets on footfall. .,
      Money is tight . if there are to be new pavements, either budget to wash them or make them in cheaper dark materials.All plans for further grandiose projects need to be squashed unless there’s a realistic budget for cleaning them.Surely we’d all take clean streets , new trees and street furniture over, say, facing the shops with marble and watching it go black?
      This council reminds me of people who notice their kitchens are dirty so knock them down and pay for new ones .
      The roadworks have been going on so long its hard to believe there remains a single intact stone slab to be noisily cut in bits.

    • Purple Haze

      The station has had very little maintenance done on it for decades apart from the work that is dragging on at the moment and the external makeover at street level some years back. And of course there is the proposed Solum development.
      The walkways are filthy, in places covered in pigeon excrement, windows are dirty, broken and rotten, and ivy and moss are growing inside, giving the impression that the whole place is run-down and not looked after properly. It actually gives people the feeling that the walkways might not be safe when they become over-crowded. Most first-time visitors to Twickenham arriving by train are genuinely disappointed on seeing how down at heel the place looks. OK the counter argument is that things will change, but that’s not the point.
      Also the walkway to the street, which by-passes the ticket hall, is mostly closed these days, except for late evenings. Someone told me at the station that this was because it was in a poor state of repair. I’d be interested to know if that was true.
      I must emphasise that this is not a criticism of the ticket hall and platform staff who work there as they are helpful, friendly and a credit to SWT.
      The whole thought process seems to be get as much revenue from customers as possible but let the whole station rot, until it comes to a time when you are forced to upgrade it, then plead poverty and get a property developer to contribute to the refurbishment costs by building unwanted high rise flats.
      Sad to say, but an acquaintance of mine, who is an international musician and once lived in Twickenham for a very long time, now doesn’t come back as he reckons these days the place is a ‘right effing dump’. 😦 

    • illiad1

      you can blame the politicians, RFU, Solum, and their ‘deal’ with the developers… they are blind to the ‘beauty’ of the area, I will bet they have not even seen it!! Just some ‘pretty pictures’ by an architect, showing how they can improve the rundown station, make it look nice… have a look at the pics on the planning site, you will have to look closely to *find* the station.. behind the new apartment block that is right next to the motorway over the bridge, buried under another massive block of flats…
      that is most likely why many protested, delaying the work that was going to be done in time for the Rugby world cup!

    • Sorry Sally but I have on good authority (insider at the council) that that truly was the case.

    • Sally

      Arrgh! I knew it was true, sorry, True !
      Well then. Over 100 thou was spent trying to flog the Gloriana hen hutch with Councillor S very clear there was an additional million in the kitty to play with.
      How about they buy the damn machine and clean the streets. They could then clean and repair the station. Look at Clapham junction, same rickety design but much more clean and that’s with thousands more people passing through it daily.
      I despair of the vanity in the terrible marriage of developers and Councillors. Its really quite easy, chaps,:
      What makes people like a High street? is it:
      A.Clean well kept streets
      B.filthy wide footpaths in various hues of sludge?
      What makes people like a Station? Is it:
      A. Clean, cared for and with adequate seating for commuters
      B.A filthy dump with the promise of a high rise.
      The station staff are lovely. How horrible to have to work somewhere so deliberately neglected.

    • illiad1

      gee, I wish it was like that.. I guess the reality is business men who never actually venture into the town, they just get reports and pretty pictures by architects showing their dream…
      Clean the High street?? Nah, that is the job of the ‘environment’ office…
      Dont like what is happening on or around the station?? you will need ‘transport’ or ‘rail regulation’… there must be a ‘Humphrey Appleton’ involved… LOL

  5. Anonymous

    All this I like to know what percent of the crowd go into town Center their me thinking Twickenham concil is implored by us to work in our interest

  6. Rufus McDufus

    I get the impression the construction company must’ve negotiated a day rate with the council without any actual completion date and are therefore taking as long as is humanly possible to do the work!

  7. Tina Cooke

    Bad things happen when good (visionary, even) people do nothing. Sadly, we have only ourselves to blame for not being angry enough to do anything more than moan on this (magnificent!) Twickerati page …. the victory in the Battle of the Gloriana vs. the people of this Borough, demonstrates how effective community can be when it’s truly united in common cause.

    • illiad1

      there was a notification of the full scale of the works about 3 years ago or more.. (please correct if wrong, cannot find it now.. :/ ) I think it was council site or summat???
      Most people were too busy complaining about the station I think ..
      The rather shocking thing is, TFL only actually changed all its websites to the new bus-stops a few months ago!!!

    • Walkinthepark

      Actually Tina a few people did do more than moan or post on Twickerati. There was a consultation, and as you can see individuals as well as various organisations responded, An independent Planning Inspector held a public meeting to review the plan at which local residents could voice their views. Some changes were made, for instance to the proposal to build a very 70s style multi storey Car Park opposite the Albany, which is still in the plan but at least with more caveats on what can be built and the justification required.

      I think the record of two Judicial Reviews challenging locally controversial Council initiatives is also evidence that local people do more than moan. I am sure if the Gloriana proposal had not been sunk as much by the weight of it’s own grandiosity, as by local opposition, the Friends of Orleans Riverside could have faced a similar challenge to effectively fight for the interests of local residents over the Council’s agenda, indeed in seeking the advice of lawyers etc. were anticipating it.

      The problem is that the Council has the resources expertise and money to progress the agenda and local people have to become overnight experts on eg process and regulatory / planning frameworks, it all takes a lot of committment and effort, for people for whom it is not their day job. Most people just hope it will go away, or think there is no chance of changing things.

      But you are right, good people should not do nothing

  8. Mumto1plus2

    Just sick of it to be honest. Unfortunately, alot of the new stones are already blemished with chewing gum stains (why do people do that?). It seems every time I go to Waitrose there’s a new maze to negotiate to get in. I also have no idea why they moved the two pedestrian crossings a few metres from their original positions and closer to road junctions. It is hard to believe that it’ll all be done by May but I suppose, once finished it will look nice. I do appreciate the removal of some of the cattling style fencing that used to be in place so I hope that doesn’t re-appear. It’s also nice being able to cross King Street in one go rather than being herded into the middle of busy traffic. Now, if only they would address some of the pavements in Twickenham that actually need fixing!

  9. Purple Haze

    Yes the ‘drinks patio’, courtesy the Council, outside the Cabbage Patch is a bit of a mess because of everything that gets spilled on it.
    The rest of the town looks like it’s going through one of those Sovietization clean-up plans that you used to see in Eastern Europe, as the council seems keen on creating their Potemkin Village for the Rugby World Cup.
    Maybe they’ll put up a triumphal arch outside the railway station once the ugly high rise development is finished saying, ‘Welcome to Twickenham, home of England Rugby and very wide pavements provided by our Gracious Leader’?
    Maybe a lot of balls would be appropriate? 😉

  10. Michael Dupree

    I was speaking to the main foreman on Saturday, all the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. Over the next few weeks the main paving works along the high street will be completed, then the lamp posts will get repositioned and finally the high street gets re tarmacked. Hopefully some new bins will be placed along the high street and maybe some new benches as well. As for the cleaning of this new paving I really hope the council does invest in a suitable cleaning machine, I noticed a few months back that Richmond has the same paving and it was really filthy!! Now as for nostalgia, I happened to come across this old film (One Way Pendulum) on You Tube filmed in 1963 or 64, from 7 minutes on into the film you can see some shots of how Twickenham High Street used to look and not that much has changed:

  11. I don’t understand why we suddenly need such immensely wide pavements. The loss of those few parking spaces outside Waitrose is utterly mad, not to mention the sacrifice of bus stops right in the town centre. Has the convenience for we locals made way for the few days when crowds of rugby fans need to march from stadium to pubs? No, don’t bother to answer that. I think we already know.

  12. Has anyone noticed how dark and slimy the new paving stones have become? Especially bad outside the Cabbage Patch. Apparently the council decided not to invest in the cleaning machines designed for these particular paving slabs. Very sad about this false economy.

    • Jonathan

      The new pavements won’t solve the age old problem of the council not inspecting and repairing the pavements in Twickenham.

      In Whitton High street there are three large Tarmac patches where the new paving was dug up within weeks of it being laid.

      Despite repeated requests made to the council to make the utility firms and Transport for London to rectify their mess – nothing has been done. Thus it looks like the money spent in Twickenham will be wasted too.

      They also need crack down on firms who leave Graffiti on there premises for weeks at a time – eg WH Smith, Cousins, Tony & Guy, HSBC, South West Trains, along with many others.

    • Mumto1plus2

      I agree with you on the tarmac but I think you’re a bit harsh about graffiti. Those businesses didn’t make the mess! Perhaps harsher penalties for those doing the graffiti including having to remove it!

    • Jonathan

      Well in an ideal world we would catch every vandal.

      The council remove it for free for small companies – yet a number of the small firms still refuse to give the council permission to remove it.

      Its really important to get all graffiti removed as quickly as possible as leaving it only attracts more. Its in recognition of this, that the council has the power to force landowners to remove graffiti – as one or two refuseniks can spoil an entire neighbourhood.