Sunday, 13 June 2010

New tactic to increase visitor numbers on the towpath?

A new shiny signpost has in the last week appeared opposite my mooring at Kensal Green, presumably funded by the latest tranche of money BW have taken from from London Government to improve the towpaths. It's right opposite the window I sit next to when issuing these missives, so I could hardly be expected not to comment.

At least after many years of making the point, the notice on the sign finally admits that pedestrians have priority over cyclists.

However as is too often the case, BW just can't seem to get the detail right!

Who can spot the deliberate mistake?

As you can see the bottom pointer on the new sign post declares to all that Kensal Green Tube and Overground station is four and a half miles that way.

Technically that is true I suppose. The only problem is that the most direct route to Kensal Green station from this point is by walking in the the opposite direction to the one in which the sign is pointing. If you go that way the station is only about a mile away from the sign!

The quickest route is in fact to walk the short side around round the boundary of Kensal Cemetery, (onto Ladbroke Grove, fifty yards to the right of the sign post, then to the nearby Harrow Road junction and then one bus stop's distance up the Harrow Road and you get to Kensal Green Station, about a fifteen minute walk.) BW are sending you the long way round and not just by a few yards!

Does this have anything to do with the fact the shortest route does not take you past one of BW's visitor counters?!

(My route in Green - BW's  route in Red!)

BW's timing is also impeccable. Suppose you do believe their sign and try to get to Kensal Green Station as directed, there is another small technical problem to overcome. The access point on the canal that you would need to use at that end of the Cemetery, on Scrubs Lane, is actually closed at present, as the old ramp has been removed (and a new one is due to go in, over the Summer we are told).

The next access point to get back to Scrubs Lane is about another half mile further up the canal. You cross a foot bridge and then come back through an industrial estate on the other side of the canal in order to get back to Scrubs Lane. (Alternatively you could come back to Ladbroke Grove (nudging the visitor counter over another notch as you do) and follow my route to the station).

This would just be plain amusing if it wasn't for the fact that it's public money that BW are applying in such a cack-handed way. They can't even blame some poor contractor or operative for putting up the sign the wrong way: the distance quoted on the sign rather gives that one away!

Or maybe it's all a conspiracy and they purposely put the sign right opposite my boat just to wind me up?! (That worked then!)

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