Brockley Bites - Philosophy-Free Special

DLR set for Charing Cross

Once derided as a Mickey Mouse service that didn't really go anywhere, the Docklands Light Railway is arguably London's most successful public transport service, successfully growing its tendrils in to new parts of the city. One of the most likely extensions in their future planning appears to be an extension from Bank to Charing X via City Thameslink and Aldwych. Given the speed at which the DLR can be built and that it would use a number of existing platforms, the extension may not be a very distant prospect. An extension to Catford still seems a relatively distant prospect though.

Getting rid of large objects

We have now used both Lewisham Freecycle and the Council's Special Collection service. We used Freecycle to get rid of a sofa, which was harder than we expected. Despite the sofa being in decent condition (and from Habitat, no less) a lot of people turned their noses up at it when we sent them a photo, while a few other respondents either sounded decidedly dodgy or didn't bother with basic pleasantries in their messages. Eventually it went to a good home in Forest Hill.

We used the special collection service to rid ourselves of three large items. They have to be left outside the house, within the boundaries of your property, the night before collection day (which was within about a week of calling) . One of the large objects (we forget what it was) took the eye of someone more resourceful than us, as it sat in our front "garden", so it disappeared overnight. This meant that, when the collection team arrived and saw only two large objects cluttering the front of our home, they concluded that this couldn't be the collection in question and promptly left, without bothering to let us know of their logical deduction. After a second call to the Council, during which we were initially told that we hadn't left anything for collection, we got them to come back and the items eventually went without further hassle. There is a flat charge (£20) for this service and a maximum limit of three items.

Key cutting

We got three keys cut at the hardware shop a couple of doors down from Moonbow Jakes. All three opened the locks they were meant for, which constitutes a recommendation.

Going Local

Brockley Central regular Tom has had the temerity to start his own blog about Brockley stuff. And worse still, it's pretty good.

44 comments:

ElijahBailey said...

I like the idea of the DLR to CHX. It would make good use of some the currently unused infrastructure.

jon s said...

DLR to Charing X is a good idea. One almost wonders is the DLR will be extended further south east from Lewisham in the long run.

ElijahBailey said...

I predict over the next 50 years (bit long scale for most of us I know) London's public transport infrastructure will be widely expanded. I reckon at some point the are going to have to add a new tube line or at least extend one of them down our way.

Brockley Nick said...

@Jon S - I think there are some quite tricky technical challenges involved with extending it south from Lewisham. However, I believe it's still being looked at seriously as an option.

@Elijah - ELL, Crossrail, DLR, Thameslink - these projects combined will make a huge difference, but yes, long-term I dare say you're right. There's a north-south Crossrail scheme on the cards, although Thameslink is like a Crossrail-lite.

Monkeyboy said...

Ah... a safe thread where I shouldn't be able to anoy anyone.

One of the reasons why the DLR has been sucessful (Believe me, as someone who works for Metronet, the DLR is sucessful) is that most of it was built from scratch on 'brownfield' sites. Venturing into Charing X would have some big integration issues with the 'grown up' railways but eminently dooable.

One of the issues we're seeing is that the skills required for big rail infrastructure projects are in short supply and the government have already commited financially to the projects that Nick has mentioned as well as a big Networkrail upgrade programe.

A tube from Brockly to Oxford Street is a way off i reckon.

Brockley Nick said...

The other lesson I would draw from the DLR experience is that those people who say the new ELL won't go anwyhere useful are a)already wrong and b) forgetting that new links create growth, so that businesses relocate and new areas become lively due to their accessibility.

Monkeyboy said...

Absolutley, these big infrastructure projects are one of the ways to encourage disposable cash to be spent in deprived areas. The ELL will encourage slick dockland whizz kids to spend there ill gotton gains in Brockley. It's social engineering to an extent but that can be a good thing.

Of course there's a debate to be had about the locals being priced out of the area, but whats the alternative? keep it poor? Overall the ELL gets the thumbs up from me.

ElijahBailey said...

Exactly. You just have look at Metroland. Some of those old stations were practically plonked in the middle of a field.

neanderthal d said...

The DLR should either extend down to Beckenham Junction, where there is a TramLink terminal, or the TramLink should extend from Beckenham Junction to Lewisham. Joined-up transport links would be a good example of the "joined-up government" that we are supposedly enjoying.

There used to be a direct train service from Lewisham to Beckenham Junction, but around the time that the DLR extension to Lewisham opened, Connex in their infinite wisdom decided to dicontinue the service in one of their "service improvements".

I could go on about Connex routing trains from St Johns to Cannon Street on a Saturday - because everybody needs to go to Cannon Street on a Saturday - but i would be here all afternoon.

ElijahBailey said...

2010 Tube Map showing expanded DLR and Overground plus a few other changes: http://snipurl.com/1yo1g

Luke said...

DLR to Charing Cross.

Projected completion: 2026.

I'll be in one of those big Tressillian Crescent houses by then...

Anonymous said...

It's likely to be quite a lot sooner than that.

JN said...

Any information regarding future DLR Extensions?
Where did you hear about the Charing Cross and Catford Extensions?
There was nothing on the DLR Site
I only found out that DLR were extending to Dagenham the other day!
Please Help...

Brockley Nick said...

Both are only possibilities, being discussed primarily in industry circles but occasionally more publicly. But I wouldn't bank on either to solve your commuting problems for quite a while yet, I'm afraid.

Monkeyboy said...

TfL have a major project division that looks at lots of schemes, including the DLR extensions, various trams (west London and cross river - peckham to Islington, great if your a local burglar looking to expand, Greenwich riverside transit, step free schemes...the list goes on. Some will come to pass but most will not. The feeling where I am is that the Goverment has commited to as many large schemes as it can for the moment.

Anonymous said...

i've always wondered, why don't they extend the new cross branch of the east london line (or overground) down through st johns (or past, it probably wouldn't stop) to terminate at lewisham?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Nah, that wouldnt work.. far too much common sense to do that!

Tom said...

Page 16 of this PDF from the mayor gives a good idea of what projects are in the pipeline.

I wonder, however, how many are vulnerable to a turndown in the growth of the capital's financial sector?

And thanks for biggin' up the blog Nick - I hope to meet you next week for a drink!

tyrwhitt michael said...

This site give a few interesting insights into future projects including the DLR



Happy reading

Brockley Nick said...

Written by someone who lives fairly locally.

Anonymous said...

I can understand travelling by DLR from Lewisham to Canary Wharf but to Bank? The TFL journey planner gives a time of 27 mins via DLR and only 19 by train & tube.

Why doesn't the DLR go to the 02 Arena?

I'm sure I read the extension of the ELL was first considered in the 1920's. And was there ever talk of extending the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham?

tyrwhitt michael said...

That last comment didn't come out as I expected.

I clearly haven't got the knack of Jon's "magic" yet, but if you click on Happy Reading you get where I intended.

There are lots of other linteresting links on the site that I haven't explored yet.

ElijahBailey said...

Interesting stuff on ATO. I thought the Cross River Tram was an scheme off in la la land, I didn't realise that it may actually happen.

Monkeyboy said...

I've got no particular inside knowledge but having seen these ideas blow hot and cold over the last few years I think the cross river thing is more la-la land.

The ELL link to clapham may be more likley since it fits in to the orbital rail idea. Also enables TfL to get some Network Rail money. Bit like Thameslink, LUL are getting a brand new LUL station for 'free' because Network Rail need to totally rebuild both their's and LUL's station to support their much increased Thameslink.

Anyone use Blackfriars? enjoy it while you can, it's being demolished starting around this time next year....

Monkeyboy said...

I've got no particular inside knowledge but having seen these ideas blow hot and cold over the last few years I think the cross river thing is more la-la land.

The ELL link to clapham may be more likley since it fits in to the orbital rail idea. Also enables TfL to get some Network Rail money. Bit like Thameslink, LUL are getting a brand new LUL station for 'free' because Network Rail need to totally rebuild both their's and LUL's station to support their much increased Thameslink.

Anyone use Blackfriars? enjoy it while you can, it's being demolished starting around this time next year....

pol said...

Not stopping at St johns...

Someone told me the other day the church next to St johns station recieves money from the railway for the use of station which is on its land. That is why fewer trains stop there. I always thought it was because the platform was too short for the larger trains, though it seems pretty long to me. Can anyone shed any light on this? Is it an urban myth?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

@Monkeyboy,

Blackfriars is being demolished? Criky.. thats abit shocking.

Do you know if there any public info on this? I quite like train stations, not sure why. Theres quite a few disused underground stations around london, some of which are quite spectacular.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

@Monkeyboy,

Blackfriars is being demolished? Criky.. thats abit shocking.

Do you know if there any public info on this? I quite like train stations, not sure why. Theres quite a few disused underground stations around london, some of which are quite spectacular.

Monkeyboy said...

Thought that would pique some interest. Both the LUL and NR station are being demolished and will be rebuilt to cope with the new Thameslink service. The new station will be all glass and stainless steel, as per usual. There are some sexy pictures if you look up Thameslink on Google. The new NR station will in effect extend across the Thames. The District Line will continue to run during the rebuild but the service will run through untill the new station is opened.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Has anyone been/seen the new St Pancreas station?

mg said...

Aaargh. I'm speechless with horror. How will I get to work?

jo said...

have i missed something, or have the ELL detractors calmed down, now that the line has closed? I generally commute from Brockley station after 9am because i can't stand the platform scrum earlier than that; and i can't say i'm noticing much of a change since the ELL closed. Maybe fewer people get off at nxg, but not so's you'd notice an impact on the southern route to london bridge.

Brockley Nick said...

@Jo - I've not noticed any real difference either (8am-8.30am trains). Although I don't commute by train every day...

Ed said...

I had heard about Blackfriars being redeveloped to include a huge canopy over the river...

For those of you curious about abandoned stations:

http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/

Ade said...

@ jo & nick - the only real difference with the trains is that when something goes wrong (like the fog the other day) the effect is just ridiculous - as the ELL can't be an overflow any more...

Monkeyboy said...

A tip...not sure if it's any quicker but less hassle...

When Brockley station collapses into chaos i catch a bus from outside the barge. The 171 or 172 takes you to Elephant and Castle. then one stop to London bridge, or stay on the bus and it takes you into town...eventually. Like I say not quicker but you get to sit on the buss and you see peckham in the morning....well you can always shut your eyes. 172 is a little quicker 25 mins or so.

Bea said...

Another tip is to take 171 or 172 bus from outside The Barge to New Cross and go to London Bridge from the "New Cross" station not "New Cross Gate". As they are on different lines usually one lot of trains are working (unless of course there's a fire under the arches near London Bridge - when everything has to shut down like last summer!)

GT said...

I second the key cutting recommendation. The hardware shop has a nifty machine which cuts keys and its very reasonably priced too, especially if you have a 'super' yale lock on your front door.

ElijahBailey said...

Seems like London is being continually demolished and rebuilt. Hopefully all this new stuff won't be a failure like much of the post-war developments, and will actually last.

ElijahBailey said...

Interesting (from the abandoned stations site)

"The original route of the extension was supposed to be from Charing Cross to Aldwych, Ludgate Circus, Cannon St, and eventually through to new tunnels replacing the existing East London line. An experimental tunnel was built at New Cross in 1972/3 to test the then new Bentonite Shield - the tunnel would later have become part of the extension. Presumably the tunnel is still there and one cannot help wonder if it's being used for anything."

Monkeyboy said...

Probably some secret government agency...our version of area 51.

A lot of station have disussed areas. I've poked around the disussed bits of Oxford Circus station for my work. There are two old lift shafts that were in use before the escaltors were installed. You can still see a few old posters and also a smell of stale chineese food from the kiosk that now occupies the top of the shaft at street level. Also has access to ventilation shafts. You can walk down them and see the trains whizz past from behind a steel mesh. Some of the more imaginative passengers swear blind that they've seen ghost! Actally it's a bored engineer freaking people out...

Cllr Dean Walton said...

I saw in the paper the other day that the Chair of the Forest Hill Society was pleased to see that Forest Hill was on the latest edition of the Tube Map (pick one up at a tube station and see... Brockley's there).

However what's concerning me at the moment - is the impression that I have that some trains have fewer carriages than they had last year last year...Southern have confirmed that the 0934 & 0947 from Brockley are both booked as 4-carriage trains...I am sure they were 6-carriages in the past - I might be wrong. Of course stations like Brockley towards the end of the line suffer particularly badly from the effects of extreme over-crowding - we just can't get on the trains - and when it happens frequently it's a disgrace.

I have put a question down for the Lewisham's Transport Operators Liaison Group - but this is not due to meet until March. If anyone else knows anything about this, then I would be interested, as it's an absolute scandal to reduce capacity on this line when the ELL has closed.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of large objects....

I partook of this service a while ago to get rid of large bed.

On the appointed day, a man from the council turned up and looked at the items placed for removal in my garden. He was not happy at all, the headboard was in two parts and that, along with the mattress and the base and the legs....well that was a lot more than he was supposed to pick up. He seemed fairly adament about this until I pointed to his list with a folding beer voucher and asked him to double check. After that, he graciously gave me the benefit of the doubt.

tyrwhitt michael said...

Back to St Johns, about 10 years ago the platforms, at I suspect some considerable expense were extended to take 12 car trains. To this day however I have never encountered a 12 car train at St Johns. In my experience you're lucky to get 4 car ones and trains are just as likely to be cancelled. (That is why, anon, I travel to the west end via the DLR and Jubilee line. Longer but more reliable)

The tragedy is that to extend the platform a new longer bridge was installed to take St John's Vale, as the supports of the old bridge came down onto the platform. Sadly two workmen were killed taking down the old bridge, seemingly for no apparent purpose.

I’m afraid I don’t know if the station is on Church Land, although why that would affect the number of trains stopping I can’t imagine?

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