Speedicars crosses the road

Work has begun on the final unit in the Coulgate Street parade, next door to Dandelion Blue, to convert it in to the new home of Speedicars.

The space that Speedicars will occupy was so small that few other businesses would have been suited as occupiers, although there had been some interest expressed by other potential businesses.

The move will free up the cab firm's current office next door to the station, to allow it to be redeveloped - more on that project soon...

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bit of a shame this. Lets hope they have nice, clean new sign to make it look less tacky.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

i think its only temporary, i thought they wanted to move back into the new office when the development goes up. I'd rather they stay in the smaller unit so that the larger one can be occupied by something abit nicer :oP

Tamsin said...

Whatever the signage they are a good, reliable cab company.

JPM said...

The site is owned (and being developed by) the guy who owns Pavillion Estates, corner of Brockley Road and Cranfield Road. Speedicars will go back on their old site once the development is finished.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin - you say that like it's mitigating circumstances. I might be good at my job but it doesn't mean I can turn up to work unshaven, and scruffy.

Tamsin said...

Well, there might be some excuse if 90% of your work is done on-line and the only people who see you are your colleagues who are likewise scuffy and unshaven.

One would have ask the firm's concerned for the figures but I suspect that most of a good taxi firms work is for people who never see their offices. As long as their systems are efficient, their cars are clean and safe, and their drivers civilised-looking and polite - I don't care what the offices are like and would rather they did not waste their money on unecessary cosmetics.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin
"I don't care what the offices are like and would rather they did not waste their money on unecessary cosmetics."

Oh, well I'm glad you're thinking of their bottom line.

"Unnecessary cosmetics"?

Presumably you feel the same way about the fried chicken places along the Brockley road. No point in them having nice frontages - because it's unecessary cosmetics. Come to think of it there's no real need to pick up litter is there? - who cares what the place looks like, as it's just cosmetic.

It wouldn't hurt Speedicars to have a nice looking shop front to their offices so when people see it it doesn't look like an eyesore and make the area look shabby. By your logic you must take absolutely no notice of the aesthetic environment around you...
PJ

Tamsin said...

Ah, but I never see their offices...

They don't owe it to their clients to smarten up - which was the point you seemed to be making. And unlike a shop serving customers face to face it it is not in their commercial interests to do so. It seems rather hard to demand that they eat to any great extent into their narrow profit margins to improve the aesthetics for passers by.

Probably the case for going halfway. It would be in their interests to smarten up a bit - just for staff morale and to be more attractive to the small percentage of their overall trade that does walk into their offices off the trains.

Anonymous said...

...so why don't they have an office somewhere else, at some much cheaper location.

Cab offices always seem to be drab and rather tatty.

Anonymous said...

Considering Speedicars is situated right by the train station virtually everyone who ever comes to Brockley does see their offices, so I don't know how you don't Tamsin - unless you're a 'Plastic Brockite' and actually live in Hither Green or Catford. You're argument holds no water whatsoever. It's always in a business's interests to appear clean and smart no matter what they're trading in.

Brockley Nick said...

@anon - I didn't realise it was a competition to see who was most Brockley. Perhaps I need to set up a splinter blog, called the Real Brockley Central. Tamsin is one of our friends from Telegraph Hill.

Danja said...

If the office was on Telegraph Hill, Tamsin would be throwing a paddy and demanding it was torn down and replaced with a Victorian-looking stables running a proper old-fashioned hackney carriage service in keeping with the rich historical context of the Hill, horses and all. As it is just Brockley, it doesn't matter as long as they are cheap.

Tamsin said...

Ow!

As they would have been there since before the Conservation Area paddies would get me no-where so I wouldn't try.

All I did was say that anonymous's analogy of going in unshaven and scruffy as not being appropriate to his work was not applicable to this instance where most of the cab work is not face to face with the office.

I agree that it would be tough on people sitting next to him on the train which is where we are here (i.e. the impact of Speedicars' tackyness on passers by who don't necessarily use them). And if you look at my following post you will see that I further agree there should be a half way stage for Speedicars tidying up their act a reasonable amount.

What their neighbours can't do is demand that they spend a disproportionate amount. But we can ask nicely and that is actually all that was done at the outset, a hope expressed for a nice,clean new sign.

Tamsin said...

And Danja - Telegraph Hill never owned horses. We were lower middle class communters, travelling by the new railways. No live-in servants, just a maid who came in through the basement door for the day's work. For housemaids in the attics and a mews out the back you want the posh lot over in Brockley - Wickham Road and the like.

Tresillian James said...

"For housemaids in the attics and a mews out the back you want the posh lot over in Brockley - Wickham Road and the like"


Yeah!

Ps as there are now 2 James I've changed my moniker...

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the poshest houses were on the hills, so the residents of Telegraph Hill were certainly up there. The houses certainly get bigger as you go up hill.

Something to do with the propensity the digestive by-product of a horse drawn transport system to roll downhill.

People worry about carbon dioxide these days, but previous generations obviously had a lot of nasty niffs to put up with. Lovely gardens, though.

Danja said...

Just teasing, Tamsin.

Ours was first (I assume, perhaps unsafely) owned by a Thomas Abbot, director of Abbots Dairies in Covent Garden, so says the 1901 census. As a milkman's house some way down the hill, we don't even have a basement door for the servants, for shame.

I would say that I make them climb in and out of the cellar windows, but I'm such a rubbish city lawyer that I don't have any servants.

Tressillian James said...

And my house on Tressillian (half way down) was owned by a city lawyer and his family in 1901 - are we coming full circle?

Anonymous said...

Nick - you didn't know it was competition? Cool that means I've won. LLLLLLLLooooosers.

Anonymous said...

It is so difficult to get good servants these days, I blame the Bolsheviks.

Tanmsin said...

Drove past Brockley station this aftetnoon dropping off programmes for the Telegraph Hill Festival on various eating/drinking holes your side of the tracks and the moved Speedicars office looks fine. Were you saying that when they move back they should tidy up their old space or complaining about the current signage? If the latter - just look at the Lewisham end of Nunhead Lane! Coulgate Street shines by comparision.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a move back to their old office that was i think where the deli is now, but thats many moons ago. Anybody remember the wholefood store that was next door, and when the building that was being renovated collapsed?

Anonymous said...

That would have been 'The Brockley Bean' a fondly remmbered wholefood co-op that flowered briefly many moons ago.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of snobs! Love them or loathe them, Speedicars is a Brockley institution and have been operating from the newly "gentrified" Coulgate Street for over 40 years. Probably longer than most of you have been alive.
They are considerably "more Brockley" than any of you....

Anonymous said...

Speedycabs an Institution? Maybe thats where they get their drivers. I have always found their name a bit of an oxymoron. Handicabs in Lewisham are the most professional in the area.

It would be useful to hear other peoples opinions about cab companies.

Anonymous said...

I find speedicars quotes a little high. Crofton Park Cars (next to Crofton Park station) has smartened up its offices. Maybe its a trend in mini cab companies tidying up. Anyway, they offer a great service and seem cheaper than speedicars.

Sam said...

I've only ever used Speedicars. My experience is good - the person taking the booking always checks that you have left enough time to get to where you want and is polite and friendly. The car always turns up, they ring your phone rather than just sitting in the road beeping the horn, the car is always clean and the driver always friendly. I really can't fault them. But I go to St Johns station rather than Brockley (does that make me plastic?) so I don't see their shop/sign very often.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of friends in greenwich, and frequently take cabs back and forth (particularly late at night - Friendly Street not quite living up to its name). Three or four years ago, Greenwich Cars - who are very reliable, though inevitably stretched at pub-closing time - was charging £6 or £7 for this, and Speedicars £10. Inexplicably, Speedicars now charge £5-£6 for the same exact journey. Not sure why, but they now get my vote.

Anonymous said...

They seem to have a lower limit of a fiver, which is the price it takes to go from their offices to the nearest edge of hilly fields. :-|

Headhunter said...

I usually use "At Your Service Cars" to get to Liverpool St to catch the train to Stansted for early flights and they're cheaper than Speedicars. They have always arrived on time. I've had a woman and a man driver on different occasions - the man tends to bitch about the UK, price of petrol, tax, the government etc etc. If you can put up with this, then they're fine

Bea said...

Just seen the signage above the Speedicars shop and am so fed up that they have flouted the conservation area guidelines, especially since the other shops in the row have been careful to adhere to them. The council’s own guidance for alterations to shop frontages in the Brockley conservation area is:

"New shop fronts should usually be in painted timber with traditional elements such as stall risers, timber fascias and traditional lettering or sign writing.

Internally illuminated plastic signage and luminous colours will not be permitted."

The plastic neon box and separate plastic sign covering a large chunk of the brickwork is so inappropriate.

I have complained to the council and asked enforcement officers to have a look - be interesting to see if they take any action.

KD said...

Bea, i totally agree with you; I'd hoped it was just an ingenious temporary measure, but they've now installed the neon sticky-outy sign too, so clearly its not. So very unnecessary. Would it be helpful if more people reported this to the enforcement officer? If so, could you point me in the right direction? thanks

Anonymous said...

Is speedicars located in the Conservation area? But regardless it spoils that small parade of shops.

Bea please link or post the address of where to send letters about this.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, who cares. To think there are people dying in the world today, and you busybodies are busying yourselves by sticking your nose into the design of a company's SIGN, for christ's sake!

Bea said...

Yes, Coulgate St is in the conservation area.

The people to contact are:

Planning information service
5th Floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London SE6 4SW
Tel: 020 8314 7400
E-mail: planning@lewisham.gov.uk

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/Environment/Planning/ConservationAndUrbanDesign/ConservationAreas/Brockley/

I usually call them and then leave my details for a full form with my complaint to be completed and then (hopefully) administered. I'm sure the more people that complain the more seriously the enforcement officer will take it.

Bea said...

I care – hence the post – and my wanting to “preserve or enhance the character of its conservation area” doesn’t actually prevent people from dying.

Tressillian James said...

Thanks Bea for bringing this to our attention - the planning guidelines are really clear - and until people take action, this will happen again and again.

From my previous dealings - the conservation officers only take action if ther are a number of complaints - so to others out there please also put in a complaint if you agree.

And to the trolls - no I dont's feel sorry for speedicabs - as a long standing local business, they know the rules - they are well supported locally and should do more for the local area.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bea, much appreciated.

Tressillian James said...

Further to the above - the number you need to call is Planning Enforcement - 0208 314 9459 - they are keeping a list of objectors - currently it stands at 2 (presumably Bea and I) - surely we are not the only two who want to see the conservation area maintianed...

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