Brockley braced for PR industry invasion


Yesterday, Kate sent us the new tube map, which features Brockley for the first time, albeit in dotted-line form. She suggested it as a piece for Brockley Bites, but this is a story of profound significance, which could change the social fabric of Brockley forever.


Brockley Central works in an office predominantly filled with 20-somethings who've recently moved to London. The first thing they do when they move to London is visit their friends in Clapham and decide that this is the only place in London worth living. They then spend the next five years looking for the nearest place to Clapham, moaning incessantly to Brockley Central about how expensive everything is, how they will never be able to afford the first rung on the London property ladder and how they will have to go back to live in Nottingham (etc) if they ever want more than a shoe box. What they actually mean is that they will never be able to afford to live in Clapham.


When we ask if they would ever consider South East London, they stare blankly for a moment, refer to their tube maps, then ask if there's much in North Greenwich? The new tube map changes all of that. The PR industry will stagger, blinking, in to the light of South East London and the more inquisitive ones will discover that an ELL extension to Clapham Junction is on the cards. At that moment, their decision will be made for them, a new wave of twenty-somethings will be upon us, for better or worse. Hugh should have plenty to look at on a Sunday morning in future.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very curious! I had thought that the ELL extension to Brockley was going to be through New Cross Gate and that New Cross was going to be its own seperate little branch from Canada Water (see http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ell-route-map.pdf). This map seems to say different! Any ideas if there has been a route change or what the story here is?

fabhat said...

Just tell them that forest hill is much closer to clapham than brockley - or that the height of the hill improves phone reception...

Monkeyboy said...

Think the map is temporary to show the route of the bus replacement service. The final route has not changed.

ElijahBailey said...

I got in touch with TFL and unfortunately Brockley station won't actually be re-branded, and will therefore remain a Southern station. What this means as far as station improvements goes I don't but it makes any chances of a proper refurbishment lool slightly bleaker.

We should though get Oyster Pre-Pay with any luck. Not sure about any of the other things they have promised. I'm suspicious that all the promises may only apply to stations with that are run as London Overground only.

Anonymous said...

From what i can remember (reading a document online last year), Brockley Station is due to be 'done up' this year. To what extent i'm not sure but Forest Hill will also be done (apparently) in 2010.
Can anyone confirm or deny this??

Anonymous said...

three cheers for Brockley hip hip..

Pete said...

My girlfriend works in PR and we live in Ladywell so the invasion has already begun.

Aliche said...

I'm also a twenty something and work in advertising (and live in Brockley) so we're definitely already here... watching... waiting...

brockley mutha said...

Dahlings! I write, with some smugness, as a forerunner. I was in Pr, although time, muthahood and a shortage of appropriate wine bars have dulled my true nature. And hubby is in marketing. We moved here 9 years aqo, well before degustation, dandelion blue, broca et al. Didn't even have Moonbow jakes then. And yet we loved it, and have stayed. lAthough friends still grumble about the distance and regular display of yellow boards.

Hugh said...

One occasionally sees advertisements while watching the electric television. One likes to play one's part in promoting the media-inclined reputation of Brockley and its environs.

Bobblekin said...

Does anyone know if the tube will be an underground or overground line? Will its station share the existing station?

If its an overground will it not just be a slower more uncomfortable version of the overland?!

Also - I assume there will be a fair bit of disruption no? Tube lines don't just appear overnight?

Brockley Nick said...

@bobblekin
The station will be the same (hopefully updated) and the trains will be modern tube trains, essentially. The benefit will be far more frequent services, serving a different route, which will make it much easier to get to places like the eastern side of the city, docklands and islington.
The only serious disruption is the fact that the current ell services have been closed completely now.

Monkeyboy said...

Don't get too hung up on 'Overground' or 'Underground' The tube network is actually a mix of the two, sub surface lines like the District and deep lines like the Jubilee. Part of the reason that the old ELL is closing is that they are completly renewing the signaling to something modern, actually a Network Rail standard. It will be more reliable (there are always some bedding in issues so do cut the poor Engineers SOME slack)

The ELL line is a good thing over all, honest!

Tamsin said...

Mega disruption for two and a half years and a worse service for some than we have at present at the end of it. Goldsmiths are well annoyed - a whole generation of students will have their travel using New Cross and New Cross Gate rendered non-existent. The Forest Hill residents association have also been vociferously fighting the devil hidden in the detail of how things will be re-timetabled in the future, but to no apparent avail.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin, what are you on? Brockley station mainline services will be unaffected. Neither will st johns, crofton park, new cross or new cross gate. So we have to do without the mickey mouse ell for two years. At the end we all get a brand new, proper service and we still get all our old trains! Some people...

Monkeyboy said...

That's weird I could have sworn I got the train to london bridge as normal the other day. Rebuilding a a rail line while keeping it running can be done....takes YEARS cost loads (want to pay more tax?) and still causes disruption.

The 'big' discadvantage is that you won;t be able to go from brockley to Victoria direct. I'll take that for a decent frequent service, admitedly not direct to the center of town, have to connect to the jubilee.

These big infrastructure projects are always a compromise of money, time, practicality and other larger issues. The oribital rail system, of which the ELL is a part, is designed to relieve pressure from the center of town.

Still think it's over all a good thing.

Also building a large depot at new cross to service the new line so local will get a chance of decent job. Can't all work in the meedja.

street hugh said...

u guyz should chillax and make with the bike, like

like i does

Monkybro said...

Are you disrespecting me Hugh? I'll pop a cap in your honkey ass!

I'll be having some Cristmas pudding first though (Sainsbury's are shifting their stock - get there quick kids, or should that be kidz?)

Tamsin said...

Anonymous, I'm on New Cross Gate. At present you can only squeeze onto the mainline trains for London Bridge because of those who get off to move over the the ELL. This will no longer happen as you guys from Brockley and down the line who want to get to Canary Wharf will be staying on to travel out again on the Jubilee Line to Canada Water rather than messing about wih the fiasco of an "alternative" bus service that can't even get across the river.

And I can't remember the detail but Forest Hill people are very concerned about how much worse their mainline service (which is also yours in Brockley) will be after it all opens again - to the point of almost hi-jacking the meeting in Goldsmiths that Joan Ruddock organised last spring which was meant to concentrate on issues for those in New Cross and New Cross Gate.

Tamsin said...

Actually - correction - not at present. I should have said "before the Christmas break you could". Neither of us have yet had to face the journey, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

The engineering works are so major that it can't be done around continued operations - a total change to track and signalling and the heavy equipment has to be brought in from either end. On the other hand the tender process was flawed from the start. I bet if it was a matter of closing down the Central line or the tube Clapham the criteria would have been "speed" rather than "cost and efficiencey".

Brockley Nick said...

Tamsin, the forest hill services aren't all the same as ours and brockley's trains won't be affected (this has been covered elsewhere on the site if you want more info). As for the prediction about fuller trains at new cross gate, I'm sure that's a possibility but as monkeyboy says, that's an unavoidable problem but the long term benefits far outweigh it, imo. The services at new cross station won't be affected though...

Monkeyboy said...

Tasmin, see below. Taken from a Network Rail publication. may all be bullshit but perhaps someone is actually trying to benefit the most people. After all it's not the 'Forrest Hill Get Me To Work' project?



New Cross Gate would maintain today’s 6tph in the high peak to London Bridge

Brockley and Honor Oak Park would each see an increase from today’s 4tph to 6tph in the high peak to London Bridge

Forest Hill and Sydenham would each see a reduction from 7tph to 6tph in the high peak to London Bridge, but see below.

Penge West and Anerley would each have 4tph to London Bridge, approximately double the service today.

Norwood Junction would have 4tph running fast to London Bridge, as at present, together with stopping services.
The slight reduction into London Bridge for Sydenham and Forest Hill is seen as unavoidable and is based on the maximum number of trains that can be fitted onto the network. Whilst this is a small overall reduction at these two stations it would be offset by:

Originating these services from much nearer to Sydenham. At present they start from places as far away as Caterham. By starting them much nearer, we expect there to be more space available on them

Running them all at maximum 8-car length as far as possible; in the longer-term future, the likely recommendation is to lengthen these trains further to 10 cars from around 2015 when the necessary longer platforms at London Bridge will be available

Diversion of an increasing level of the demand onto the East London Line services

Tamsin said...

Thank you all - that's really helpful. The Forest Hill people did seem a rather blinkered lot (and it was a bit annoying that, having had their say elsewhere, they came along to the meeting for New Cross Gate that should have been dealing with the concerns of the Goldsmiths students and children going to Beacon's Gate school).
It is nice that at last it is being acknowledged that a huge number of people do actually live in South East London and undoubtedly the overall service will be better in the future.
What still pisses us off, though, is that Southern are not doing as much as they can to help in the meantime by stopping through trains at NXG (but this is the wrong forum for that) and I will also miss the train that meanders to Victoria by way of Penge East (for Crystal Palace).

Anonymous said...

After looking at the tube map.Am I the only to see that the natural
progression would be for the bakerloo line from E & castle to be extended towards the south east with a Brockley station?I agree with one of Hugh's previous comments,the ELL doesn't take you anywhere interesting .It will be a good addition to the area but it's not even a proper tube line...

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - define "proper" tube. It will have the frequency of a tube. It will intersect with the rest of the tube network at numerous points. The trains will be tube-like only better. It will be on the tube map. It just doesn't go underground for much of the journey? So what? As to whether it goes anywhere interesting, that depends where you want to go. Hackney, Islington, Canary Wharf, the City. All will be much easier to get to.

And the Bakerloo line? There has been an ongoing campaign for about 20 years I think. With the ELL, Thameslink, Crossrail, High Speed 1, ELL extension to Clapham Junction and various new strands of the DLR all committed or under construction, I think it will be a very, very long time before that ever comes up for consideration.

Tamsin said...

Tempting - with stops at Camberwell, Peckham and Nunhead Cemetary on the way. But bear in mind that the tube map - although a much-copied masterpiece of clarity - has little relation to reality. Notably Lancaster Gate to Paddington looks like five stops and a change by underground but is actually less than five minutes walk on the surface.

For decades the East London Line was a funny little appendage to the Metropolitan - of use only in the event of rail strikes - but it is now surprisingly well connected after the Jubilee Line extension and the creation of the DLR. One change at Canada Water takes you to Westminster then Bond Street and the heart of the West End or change at Shadwell to the DLR and you are straight into Bank or out to the City of London Airport. When it re-opens in due course in NXG we are rather annoyed that rather than being able to stroll onto empty trains they will all be full of people from Brockley and points South West!

Hugh said...

Of course, Crossrail will stop at Ealing.

Amanda Wickham said...

It's great for Brockley to finally be on the tube map.* But I'm under no allusion that this is a tube service. It is an Overground service. The frequency of a tube service is every 5 mins maximum during peak. We're not getting like that.
The Jubilee line during peak time is every 3 mins for instance.
*Being on the tube map, is good for Brockley's profile,its public relations if you will...

Brockley Nick said...

Amanda - ell will have 16 trains per hour through the central section - more than one every four mins.

Amanda Wickham said...

Really!?! are you able to post a link to this info, because there appears to be differing info about. I have previously read that Brockley was to get 4tph -15 min service...?

Brockley Nick said...

Without wishing to sound like Fermat, yes I will post the link, but not tonight, I am going to sleep!

Matthew said...

Is this the one? There are going to be 16 trains per hour thorugh the central zone, but I'd be surprised if that extended as far as Brockley.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/networkandservices/2105.aspx

Monkeyboy said...

No reason why an 'Overground' service can't run trains every couple of minutes but remember we will still be getting the 5 or 6 trains per hour going to london bridge from Brockley and we only have two platforms.

Not sure what the ELL frequency will be on our bit but I doubt it will be 16 an hour? Will still be useful though.

Brockley Nick said...

@Matthew, yes that's one of the links.

The central section will be served by 16 trains per hour, Brockley (being outside the central section)will get 8 ELL trains per hour (again, this is comparable with other tube lines) and a further 8 overland trains to London Bridge per hour.

So, not only will the ELL overall be comparable with other tube lines but Brockley will enjoy train freqencies comparable to central London stations.

http://www.alwaystouchout.com/project/3

ElijahBailey said...

Their is only one genuine tube service on the underground and that is the Victoria line. Everying is a mix of either tube and overground, or subsurface and overground, or another combination of those.

The simple fact is that one of the greatest failings with regards to London Transport is when after the war as part of the nationalisation and unification of LT, the bid to bring rail under same umbrella failed. Whatever your ideas of what a 'proper' service is, the point is that any move to bring more of the London public transport under one umbrella the better. Which is why there needs to be an effor made in not more blinded by the short term hassle.

Hugh said...

@Hugh: Looking good, kid.

Headhunter said...

So Hugh, have you actually left the Heartlands of SE4 then or still loitering with intent to leave? If you've left, how has the ride from Ealing to central London been treating you?

Luke said...

Talking of PR-ability, I recently commissioned my magazine's cover shoot to take place inside the Rivoli Ballroom.

Shots came out right nice...

Anonymous said...

Shame Brockley on the tube map was for such a limited period of time! It no longer appears on TFL’s latest versions – pity. I suppose we’ll have to wait until June 2010.

Headhunter said...

Really? So it's gone already? That was short lived... Perhaps all these new place names on the Tube map was far too much for north Londoners to cope with. Perhaps they'll unveil them 1 at a time in the next few issues of the Tube map. Like a stripper slowly rolling down a fish net...

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