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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Friday, 26 June 2015

Look what they've done to our park, ma!

Building the safety cage around the Battersea Park FormulaE circuit - doesn't seem to leave much room for the cars….
For the past three weeks, large swathes of Battersea Park have been closed to the public as preparations continue for this weekend's electric car racing.

On a quick visit yesterday, it was clear that the Formula E track has been created around the perimeter road by building a compete, linear cage of steel, with the occasional bridge and makeshift seating areas.

It's really tricky to get into the park now, people are waiting all round to turn you away, sending you off down paths that lead nowhere. In theory you can still cross the park but in practice it's just too much hassle.

The sports areas at the eastern end of the park are still working, but the rest of the place is unusually quiet for this time of year, with only the most determined dog walkers and sunbathers bothering to break through the various cordons. Once you get in, of course, it's nice - but then you have to find a way out as well.

You wonder how long it will take to dismantle and remove all this fencing, the huge concrete block barriers that line the course, the caging and seating. The published target is to have everything cleared away and back to normal by July 3 (Thursday). Let's wait and see.

Then again, how many more HGV trips will be required - sort of cancelling out the point of the emission-free race cars…? At least locals will be able to get in to watch the events free if they want. Well, that's if they can get hold of  one of the 1,000 tickets given to the council. Normal ticket prices range form £8 to £224.

So, you have to hope Wandsworth Council has made an enormous profit out of this, having deprived its population of full enjoyment of one of its finest open spaces for at least three weeks.

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