(20 October, 2016)

The ongoing news around Jamaica Road sounds like a board game

8970Jamaica Rd - (left to right) Anood Al-Samerai, Eliza Mann and Hamish McCallum in Jamaica Road, outside Bermondsey tube station

If you were trying to push motorists who use Jamaica Road over the edge, just for a laugh, you might first decide to stick in a bus lane that immediately caused daily snarl-ups. You’d then refuse to countenance opening the bus lane up to normal traffic during peak periods.

Next you might close all eastbound traffic from Tooley Street, but then, in a moment of twisted genius, cut off the alternative route across Tower Bridge by closing that for refurbishment.

With Rotherhithe Tunnel having to close due to various incidents, tailbacks could be seen stretching for miles down Lower and Jamaica Roads – woe betide anyone trying to get across the river any time after mid-afternoon.

Yet in a final flourish, (or perhaps not?), it has now been announced that Jamaica Road will be closed some twenty times next year for resurfacing – it truly sounds like a board game called Snarl Up! being played with a roll of the dice by TfL bosses.

We say announced, but in fact it was Southwark Lib Dems who chanced upon the resurfacing plans, so you have to wonder when or how dispirited commuters and local businesses were going to find out.

Of course it is no laughing matter – the amount of disruption to people’s lives and their livelihoods from this cavalcade of traffic-jam inducing measures is appalling.

Given that Jamaica Road has long held the dubious distinction of being the slowest in rush hour in the country, you have to wonder what has prompted the need to resurface – weeds growing between the car tyres perhaps?


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