Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Mind that cyclist

CatrionaI have been in two minds about whether to blog this on here since Monday because its something that happenned in a different part of London, but its affected me having been on the fringes of it and hey this is my blog after all.

Its increasingly relevant to Shepherd's Bush anyway - the safety of the ever growing number of cyclists on our roads.

On monday morning I came out of Stockwell tube as normal on my way to work. I actually stopped to marvel at the crowd of cyclists at the junction - for some reason, probably the fact that south London doesnt have a very good tube network, they have absolutely loads of morning cyclists down there. Much more than north of the river.

One of those cyclists never made it to the office that day though. no more than about 5 minutes later at 0835 she was dragged under the wheels of a lorry turning left and tragically died outside Oval tube.  I had heard many more police sirens than normal and so logged into a local blog down there I use sometimes, only to find this. Her name was Catriona and tributes have been paid to her on a London cyclists discussion site here.

I ride around W12 quite a lot doing local errands and just getting around and although we have plenty of crap drivers it usually seems fairly safe. But every morning leaving the gym and crossing the road to get to Bush tube I wonder at those cyclists actually using the Shepherd's Bush roundabout - its got 4 lanes for crying out loud!

If people are going to be that foolhardy then I guess there's not much you can do but should we not have some kind of green lane for cyclists at least on both sides of the Green?

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Several of you have been in touch to point me to this cyclist incident map for H&F - it is truly unbelievable. "Incidents" involving cyclists are represented by blue dots across the borough. Yuo can barely see a single road that doesnt have blue dots.

THURSDAY UPDATE: The partner of the lorry driver involved in the fatal accident has posted a very personal and moving statement on a cyclist blog. It reads as follows: "My partner was the driver of the lorry which was in the accident on monday where sadly a woman cyclist died. I have read all the posts about this and some have been quite upsetting as a lot of comments have been way off the mark. My partner had not been drinking all night, he was safely tucked up in bed at 9pm watching TV with a cup of tea. He is an experienced HGV driver of 20 years and has never had an accident. The cyclist came up on his left side and has said he simply did not see her, he did check his mirror but she was in his blind spot. I have researched this and a lot of accidents have happenned this way. He was arrested, this would be normal practice after an accident of this nature, the police are now conducting an investigation. He is traumatised and our lives will never be the same again. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this terrible time." Full post here.

FRIDAY UPDATE - Tonight's Standard carries a moving tribute to his wife from Catriona's husband here. This has dominated my thoughts for the week, hence lack of postings on other subjects. Hope you understand.

12 JULY UPDATE - Catriona's family have set up this charity fundraising site in her memory www.justgiving.com/anish-patel/

Scaling Uxbridge Road

New footage just in of a daring attempt

Monday, 29 June 2009

Car crash on Uxbridge Road

Monday at 1715: Don't worry - very minor by the looks of it. A car sat in the middle of the road with damage to the front and two bored looking PCSOs taking a statement from a man I guess was the driver.

It was the corner of Uxbridge and Oaklands Grove just before the KFC. If anyone has any more feel free to comment...

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Crazy thunder and lightening in Shepherd's Bush

lighteningIf you're reading this soon after I've posted, 9pm on saturday, and you're in the Bush you won't need telling that we have just had some very spectacular weather. I have only ever seen that sort of storm on my trips abroad to equatorial Africa where its the norm.

What is slightly more worrying however is that all I seem to have been hearing and seeing having just been on Uxbridge Road is a steady stream of police vans, cars and ambulances all apparently heading towards the Green. Anyone know what that's about?

Heatwave Alert: Who are your neighbours?

sunThe Department of Health have just issued this warning of a heatwave in London. I have two elderly neighbours on either side of me who I'll be checking on. In finest Shepherd's Bush tradition neither of them speak English! But we'll manage.

Where are yours? Please make sure you ask if they're OK. Happy weekend.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Canberra School confirms swine flu case

Another one I'm afraid Ladies and Gents, one child has been confirmed with the virus this week at Canberra School. No antivirals given out and the child has apparently been quarantined for what was a safe period to limit infection hence not handing out Tamiflu.

H&F Council have released this statement on the situation at the moment. You may wish to bookmark it for further updates. This news is of course in addition to the outbreak previously reported at Bentworth Primary.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Another stabbing in Shepherd's Bush?



In the last 48 hours about 40 or 50 people have come to this blog having searched for "stabbing in shepherd's bush" or terms like that. If this means what I think it might please let me know. There does not seem to be any reports of it in the other local media at the moment.

SUNDAY 4PM UPDATE: Over 100 people have now searched this blog during the course of today for a stabbing which may have occurred last night in Shepherd's Bush Road. Still no official news agency carrying these reports.

MONDAY 0930 UPDATE: This story has just been posted up by the BBC. I think we might have an explanation. Almost 150 seperate queries came to this blog looking for terms to do with "stabbing" since sunday in the early hours, and only now has the BBC posted a report on it. None of the traditional local media have yet done so. So if this isn't the incident that you were all looking for do let me know...

MONDAY 1115 UPDATE: With thanks to the readers who have given their own intelligence, it would appear that there were in fact two seperate stabbings in Shepherd's Bush over the week-end, in addition to the story the BBC is carrying. As yet still no 'traditional' media outlet carrying any news on these whatsoever. This reminds me very much of this posting where I decried the very poor standard of local news reporting, in which we have a pants "local" paper that is actually the Ealing Gazette combined with a local Council propaganda rag. Over 100 people have now looked at this posting alone which shows that not only is there a gap but a real concern about what is going on locally. Shouldn't local journalists be covering these stories?

TUESDAY 0830 UPDATE Just under 150 people viewed this article alone on monday, there is clearly still huge concern, and clearly still no local reporting of what has gone on. I suspect the Ealing Gazette may carry something on it this friday but what is stopping them updating their website?

WEDNESDAY 2230 UPDATE: The local media have now caught up and have broadcast an appeal from the local police. It would appear a cyclist has been confirmed as having been stabbed as per one commentator to this blog's version of events. Which was how we all learnt about what happenned days before either the traditional media or the police got round to telling us. I think I've said enough about the deficiencies of our local press, but at least this shows the power of local community blogs to get the word about things out. I hope this has been of some use to all of you. Have a good evening and weekend folks.

Why we love the Bush

Uxbridge Road, at dawn
My view of Uxbridge Road most mornings

Friday, 19 June 2009

Swine Flu hits Shepherd's Bush school

Bentworth SchoolBentworth Primary School in Bentworth Road Shepherd's Bush has confirmed two cases of swine flu this week.

We got the news yesterday via letters handed out by local schools but there seems to be a total absence of any other official advice at this stage.

In fact I was alerted to this a couple of days ago by a large influx of people to this blog who were searching this article I wrote ages ago, and coming to me via google searches. So I know that there are anxious people out there. As soon as I hear anything else I will post it up here, and if any official agency wants to share anything through here they only need to ask.

Parents, teachers and of course children at Bentworth School have been issued with the Tamiflu anti viral medication and the school remains open.

The official advice is for anyone feeling unwell with symptoms of flu to NOT visit their GP or hospital to avoid the risk of spreading infection. You can call NHS Direct instead on 0845 46 47 or visit them here.

Hammersmith & Fulham health workers themselves however apear to be less informed than I am and prone to over-reacting, as this episode shows!

It always looks a bit more serious when children get it but its important to bear in mind, as I said in this post when swine flu first came to this area, that the vast majority of people make a complete recovery.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

QPR: Fixtures, season and prices



There are some mouthwatering fixtures in the next season, the list having been published today.

I've already booked time off for the days after some of the evening derby games and am really looking forward to the next season. QPR should be pushing for the premier league - and properly this time, not last year's joke of a season.

Aside from the Nazi sympathies of a mad-cap owner what continues to be a joke however is the cost of season tickets. The cheapest is £480  and that is for a "bronze" seat - which means you're in the corner and can't see anything properly. A "gold" ticket is nearly £600. I reckon on going to about between 10 and 15 games - and its therefore just about cheaper not to bother with a season ticket for me. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Queen Caroline Estate: Stephen Greenhalgh on the spot

The Queen Caroline Estate and numerous others, some in W12 some in other parts of the Borough, are apparently going to be knocked down and replaced, with residents having to move elsewhere. The only question is what will replace the homes.

None of this directly affects Shepherd's Bush but it is relevant to us because there are real questions about whether the Council has been entirely open and truthful with residents. I last reported on this here.

I was sent a YouTube video this week by the Leader of the Labour Opposition group on the Council which appears to show the Leader of the Council, Stephen Greenhalgh, being forced by local residents at a public meeting to admit that contrary to his council's official line they had indeed had discussions with property developers about the future of the estates. Officially they have not. See what I mean?! If there is a lack of transparency about this what could it mean, for example, about the future of Shepherd's Bush Green?

This is not a political website and so I have not reproduced the video here, but it has been widely reported in the Guardian here and it was on the BBC's Politics Show on sunday (the above video) Watch and make your own mind up as to what is going on!

UPDATE 19 JUNE 2009 The video above, which is from YouTube, was actually posted online by H&F Council's own press office. So full marks to them - it doesnt paint them in a very good light but they put it up anyway so people could see it which I think deserves some credit. I know they read this blog so thanks from me and no doubt readers too.

What is the point of the 266 bus?

266Much gets said locally about the utter waste of space that is the 266 bus route linking Hammersmith to the Brent Cross shopping centre. It has to be one of the most complained about routes in London and the local Council even regularly slate it in their own freesheet. Transport for London always just reply that actually its really regular, and then when they're forced to admit its not, blame traffic problems out of their control.

Why then did I have to wait over 40 minutes last night for a 266 from Hammersmith to the Askew/Uxbridge Road Corner? There are no traffic problems in Hammersmith at that time of night and in any case Hammersmith is the *start* of the route; even when I called the TfL "helpline" the operator did not know of any problems that should be affecting it. When I told her I was enquiring about the 266 she just sighed.

When one eventually came along, with none having arrived when they were due at 2106, or 2120 the driver himself was obviously in a rush. Careering up the Paddenswick Road and then Askew Road, audibly tutting when people rang the bell and screeching to a halt at a zebra crossing. Why should we have to put up with this?

Sunday, 14 June 2009

14 year old boys charged with stoning central line tube trains

east-actonAn update on this story from April. The morons that were throwing the stones at central line trains were in fact 14 year old kids. They have been charged and will appear in what I assume will be a youth court next week on the 25th of June.

They will no doubt get a slap on the wrist and told not to be so naughty again.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Greenfest today (Sunday) at Furnival Gardens

GreenfestGet yourself down to Greenfest today (Sunday) at Furnival Gardens, the latest in this summer's line up of things happening in Hammermsith & Fulham. From the weather forecast they seem to have been lucky and sun is predicted all day.

Pics to follow, hope to see some of you there

Friday, 12 June 2009

Woman badly hurt by lorry in Hammersmith

With thanks to the Ealing Gazette for this story. A woman pedestrian was dragged under the wheels of an articulated Tescos lorry on the Hammersmith roundabout on wednesday. Critically injured she was airlifted to London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Its the sort of story that just makes your blood run cold. Just like this one.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Girl killed in car accident

Only just outside of Hammersmith & Fulham this little girl was killed yesterday by one of the many crap drivers you see speeding through the narrow streets off the Uxbridge Road and about which the police and authorities seem either powerless or not bothered enough to do anything about. Original reports that this was a hit-and-run are wrong, the driver did at least stop at the scene.

I am lucky enough to live in an area that has such stringent traffic calming measures that this sort of driver tends to avoid us. And its more evidence of why we fought so hard to keep them when TfL wanted to tear them down to force an unwanted bus route through our area.

Much of W12 is officially now a 20MPH zone. When will the authorities actually start enforcing it, or haven't enough children been killed yet?

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Shepherd's Bush flooding!

Well, not quite but nearly. My camera is on the blink so I don't have any shots but after this morning's rainstorm half of Uxbridge road had huge lagoons on either side.
Its either because the roads were not put together properly after the pavements were re-built last year or just bad drainage. Either way the volume of standing water made for some spectacular car drive-by soakings. This included one guy who was soaked by a wall of water which flew over a parked car between him and the one driving past for goodness sake! Thankfully I was not a victim but others were not so lucky!Uxbridge Road

Friday, 5 June 2009

H&F Council vandalise streets with Nissan advertising


Coming back from the gym this morning I was confronted by these chalked up images on the streets of the Bush around the Green. As I walked under the banners that proclaim how many police officers the council have created to make us all safer and happier I wondered at the wanton commercial vandalism that evidently didn't count as any kind of crime in this bright new era.

How does a multi billion dollar company like Nissan get to graffitti the streets of Shepherd's Bush, with what must have been the full approval of the council, without any come back? Or would the council have us believe that this global corporate giant did it with no warning?

And how could they possibly arrest a 13 year old scrawling a tag on a wall again without being rightly charged with hypocrisy themselves?!

Seriously, I dont want chalk drawings on the streets telling me to buy a car. What I would like to know however is how much money changed hands? How much did the council get paid by Nissan and what will they do with the money?  To those who might have the answer, including those who work at Town Hall and who are among my readers, I promise anonymity.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Vote today: Hope not Hate

I don't think I need add anything to this excellent video. Remember the BNP are Nazis. And remember what happenned 60 years ago. Don't let the distractions of MPs expenses let the fascists in through the back door by deciding not to vote. People died to give you that right.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Menezes tube train driver compensated - with peanuts

MenezesThe man who was driving the tube train on which Jean Charles de Menezes was killed, and who was chased down the tunnel by the self same armed police, has just been awarded compensation of one thousand pounds. Not much I hear you say? No, it isnt. And it wouldnt have been anything if the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) had gotten its way. They refused him anything at all, and he only won on appeal.

As injustices go this is pretty sickening and shameful. In fact it is so down there in the gutter that I am lost for words. As we see Honourable Members of Parliament claiming - and being given - much more than one thousand pounds each so that they can buy nice cushions to park their backsides on, they preside over a system in which a man who was chased down a dark train tunnel by gun toting policemen who had just fired seven bullets into the head of an innocent man is first turned down for compensation completely and then given one thousand pounds.

Having been in Liverpool Street on July 7th, I was in Shepherd's Bush on July 21st as they sealed off our tube station on that day. I remember the 207 bus driver urging us all to get off. Quickly. I remember seeing police cars mounting pavements from all directions and speeding across the Green itself to get to the tube station. They all knew that they were rushing into a situation that might very well cost them their lives, in protection of our own. So this is in no way doubts their own courage and bravery. They do things most of us never have to. This is a criticism of a legal system that is rotten to the core when it comes to dealing with victims, or as I said here sentencing villains. And it makes me sick.

I apologise for ranting. Not my normal style. I actually work in Stockwell now and walk past that shrine to Menezes every day so it may be I am getting things out of proportion. But I dont think so. And it is relevant to the Bush!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Squirrels of the Green

Squirrel of the GreenNow that the Green is overrun with rats it is even more pleasant to see another variation of rodent that has always been welcome. I usually cross Shepherd's Bush Green before most of you are even awake and it can be a magical sight. Its always quite hard to capture it on camera but I did manage to get one the other day and here it is. Its a glimpse of what makes Shepherd's Bush the best place in London.

Happy summer!