Image - DAVE_Nazca-lines-spider

I know that some of you have become caught up in the strange story of Dave and Duni and the mysterious markings that appeared recently in roads around north St Margarets. At first the road markings, not dissimilar to the huge patterns laid out some 2000 years ago on the Nazca Plain in Peru and visible only from the sky, triggered the thought that perhaps they had been put there by extra-terrestrials. Later research revealed that Dave - named in a misspelt message - is a contractor hired to repair the road and the signs, drawn by a highway engineer called Duni, are cryptic instructions of what work needs doing. Neither Dave or Duni are extra-terrestrials which is reassuring news!

Now I have been sent a final and conclusive letter that everything is above board from Stephen Spinks, the Principal Engineer for Richmond and Wandsworth. If we were to continue the ridiculous notion that Dave and Duni are extra terrestrials I suppose Mr Spinks would be the equivalent of Darth Vader or Ming the Merciless!

“You are unwise to lower your defenses!” – Darth Vader

In simple terms Stephen Spinks’ letter says that roads are going to be repaired using a new and eco-friendly technique using less energy and producing less waste - and if it works it could be coming your way very soon.

Dear Sir/Madam,


As a part of our borough wide programme to improve roads and pavements, we will shortly be carrying out a carriageway patching operation in Northcote Road, at the junction of Haliburton Road.

The works are part of a trial using a thermal heating process to reheat and repair the existing asphalt surface. This repair process has many benefits, such as, more environmentally friendly, reduced carbon footprint, whilst continuing to deliver best value.

By reheating the existing road surface, rejuvenation and reprofiling can be carried out, without the need to remove the old material, which greatly reduces the disposal of waste material and the amount of new asphalt material required. The process also cuts down on the amount of large plant and machinery typically used with traditional repair methods.

If successful, we intend to use this repair method throughout the Borough, however, please be assured that the performance of this road junction will be closely monitored by our Highways Engineering department to ensure that it meets both expectation and requirements.

The works will be carried out on Friday 19th June 2020, between 8.00am and 5.00pm and should be completed within one day. During the works a road closure and local diversion will be in operation and signed accordingly on site.

Access to residents will be maintained, however, minor delays maybe experienced depending on work phase/location. Operatives will be on site during the works to assist with any access matters. Emergency vehicle and pedestrian access will be maintained.

To facilitate the above works it will be necessary to impose some temporary parking restrictions in the road. The restricted length will be marked with high visibility cones. Please do not park in ‘No Waiting’ coned area as this can delay the progress.

If a vehicle is parked in the coned off area, the Council may have to tow away the vehicle and issue a ‘Penalty Charge Notice’ which can attract a fine up to £110 and a tow away fee of £130. In the unfortunate event of vehicle removal, please telephone 0845 2068602 for further information.

Please be assured that we will make every effort to complete the work as planned and keep inconvenience to an absolute minimum. However, at times, it is possible that works can get delayed, for example, due to adverse weather conditions or emergency traffic incidents. If that happens, I would ask for your cooperation and forbearance while we deliver these improvements.

Finally, should you experience any difficulties with the works, please contact our Customer Service Centre on the above number quoting our reference. For emergencies affecting public safety outside office hours or at weekends please contact the Careline office 020 8744 2442.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Spinks Principal Engineer Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

– from Martyn Day