Brockley Station: Spot the Difference

The keen-eyed among Brockley's commuters might have noticed some subtle changes as a result of the week-long closure of Brockley Station office. Chief among them is the fact that the benches have gone, to be replaced by thin air.

The station managers intend to insert a ticket machine where the benches used to be and install barriers - at which point, the exit on platform 2 will be closed, for maximum inconvenience.

We plan to write more on the station's future soon, but ultimately, the likelihood is that the whole ticket office will be relocated and the station layout remodelled to coincide with the arrival of the East London Line, and the anticipated trebling of passenger numbers between 2007 and 2011.

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't mind the lack of benches - always gets a bit cramped in there and there's places to sit outside.

Where are the barriers going - in the ticket office or in the gate bit next to the ticket machine?

Anonymous said...

I thought the ELL was going too well

Anonymous said...

god i hate brockley sometimes

APP&P Troll said...

This is one of the bad effects of becoming a more densely populated area - being 'processed'.

In modern times everything vaguely human is 'processed' by a large corporate.

The installation of the ticket barriers is a direct consequence - it removes the need for people to have any law obiding 'social values' to actually go and buy a ticket and instead, we have to go through the de-humaninsing process of a barrier check due a few people who lack the capacity to obey the law.

It comes down to social values i'm afraid. In some cultures, the rule of law is poorly enforced or indeed non-existence. Portugual for instance, has only been a democracy since the 1970s!

Anonymous said...

Can't say it matters to me. The station needs a barrier - as do the various New Crosses and everywhere along the line that people 'do a bendybus' on all day long!

Anonymous said...

He just can't help himself can he?

Brockley Nick said...

Oh good lord Andy, what on earth have "other cultures" got to do with it? Do anglo-saxons not free-ride?

And since when does democracy = unwillingness to fare dodge? Or was there another reason you chose Portugal for your little non-sequitur?

Tamsin said...

I agree with APP&P - a civilisation that thinks it has to prioritise barriers to process people sausage-like through the machine over benches where they can sit and chat and watch the world go by is a sorry place.

Brockley Nick said...

I presume one benefit of the barriers will be the introduction of Oyster.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin, I think you're a little naieve if you think that was the point Andy was trying to make.

lb said...

If they mean that we get the ability to charge up our Oyster cards at Brockley, then I have no problem with the barriers. Or with being 'processed', for that matter. It's hardly a huge infringement of our civil liberties.

Having said that, I'll still be travelling from St Johns...at least I can get a seat on the train.

APP&P Troll said...

It's exactly the point I was trying to make.

Nick, in some nation states the rule of law is not strictly enforced or even respected by its citizens.

Maybe I should of replaced 'culture' with nation state. Maybe then people would stop being so sensitive. Its even more de-humanising if you cant even talk about these things.

Tom said...

The introduction of barriers is - as Nick points out - most probably directly linked to the belated introduction of the Oyster on trains.

This should be much welcomed as it will speed up buying tickets, save money and end the worry about missing a train because the bl*ody machine won't work fast enough!

For those with their golden age spectacles on, could they find an example of a period where London's public transport did not have some method of ticket inspection?

Headhunter said...

If they close the exit from platform 2, how are we going to get out of the station in the evening when they shut the ticket office?!

APP&P Troll said...

I think that its reasonable to argue that under a dictatorship, its citizens would not respect the rule of law relative to a democracy - hence the portugal reference.

Same thing in China really, civil unrest is growing in some areas due to local frustation and perceived corruption of the state. You can respect a state, and its laws, if its corrupt.

Or does that mean I am now a racist anti-chinese in our brockley central world?

APP&P Troll said...

Tom, most British rail stations did not have ticket barriers prior to privatisation.

In Austria, 4 years ago there was no ticket barriers on the tube and they have a well defined and respected state.

And above I meant 'cant' not 'can.

Brockley Nick said...

@hh - I presume they will open that gate on platform 2 when the station is closed.

In any case, this is all a short-term measure. The station will be reconfigured (possibly moving the ticket office completely) in time for the ELL.

Anonymous said...

Yes Andy, those Chinese are famous fare dodgers.

After all, who cares about the rule of law in a nationalist dictatorship with draconian penalties for breaking it?

Or are you trying to differentiate between "respect for laws" and "obeyance of the law"? In which case, where're your facts please?

Headhunter said...

Yeah I remember when I 1st came to London in 1999 and lived in Catford. At that time there were no ticket barriers at Charing X and I don't think there were barriers at London Bridge either, so it was very easy to "do a bendy bus".

It hasn't really been possible to do a this from Brockley station into town for many years though, how do you get through the barriers at London Br or Ch X... Unless you get off at Waterloo East instead, I suppose.

It'll still be possible to "do a bendy bus" in the evening anyway as I assume they will open the barriers up at Brockley station just as they do at Ch X, London Br and New Cross stations

Tom said...

APPP - I did not ask about barriers, but about ticket inspection. Before barriers there were inspectors.

People bought tickets not because of some desperate fondness towards the democratic state but largely because they did not want the social shame of being 'done' by the inspectors.

Back in the land of the sane: did anyone feel slightly less safe going under the new ELL bridge at New Cross after hearing the news about the Liverpool Street bridge?

Anonymous said...

APPP- unfortunately you are an idiot. Your opinions makes no sense. They are, in the purest meaning of the word, 'nonsense'. You lose all your credibility when you come out with crap like that. Democracy or Dictatorship has nothing to do with ticket barriers being installed at Brockley station. You are a muppet and I'm considering calling the RSPCA because I'm now doubting your ability to carry out the most basic of tasks, so how you are capable to look after your cats i have no idea. You know cats eat cat food right?

APP&P Troll said...

Tom, I would argue that social 'shame' is a social value that has deteriated hence the need for barriers.

We've kind of agreed on this - in some countries it is not shameful to dodge the law. In some cases, even if you get caught it is considered a mark of respect.

The link between the nation state and the respect/obeyance of the law is that you need to have a credible system of government.

Lets not talk about the Poll Tax shall we?

anon@09.29 If you think its crap to talk about these things, it just goes to show how ignorant you are.

APP&P Troll said...

and luckily I cycled to work this morning, but yes - I did wonder about the bridge above the rail track to London Bridge!

Anonymous said...

at least mussolini had the trains running on time.

Anonymous said...

Whilst I agree to an extent on Andy's points, there is one overriding point to all this that has already been made clear. To authenticate a journey on an oyster card, you need to be able to 'touch in' to that journey. Barriers facilitate this.

Civil liberties, human rights and organic fairtrade mung beans remain intact.

Tom said...

APPP - again you ignore my point: there were ticket inspectors. It wasn't just out of social shame, it was because there was a high likelihood you would not get away with it.

Bea said...

Barriers are all very well but what I dread will be lugging my luggage / kid’s buggy up the steps when we return from London Bridge. Going down the steps at platform 1 is challenge enough.

At least now he is getting older I can make him get out an walk up but after a hard day’s shopping in the West End usually he’s asleep and dragging all 16kg of sleeping child plus buggy and shopping bags up those steps is going to be a real pain!

Brockley Nick said...

@Bea - yes, totally agree. I think there are plans to install a lift.

Again, I'm hoping to be able to write a summary of what will / may happen to the station fairly soon.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Are there any figures I wonder on the rate of fare dodging on the DLR........where there are no barriers?

Anonymous said...

It was a luxury I took for granted to be able to get off the train directly in front of the gates and swiftly out of the station.

10.38am Oh and the point made about barriers facilitating the authentication of Oyster cards.

I've been using my pre pay Oyster card at barrier free New Cross Gate for years. Barriers are necessary from a travellers point of view.

Brockley Kate said...

TM - The DLR has very regular ticket inspections though: I used to be asked for my ticket daily when I was a DLR commuter.

Anonymous said...

The DLR is the bendiest bus on the network

Headhunter said...

I barely use the DLR these days but when I did years ago, it seemed they had occasional blitzes on ticket checking then it would go quiet for several months.

fabhat said...

I use the DLR frequently, but at quite odd times, and almost always have my ticket checked.
The oyster beeper at New Cross Gate is okay, unless you are desperate to catch the tube and ther is a slow moving crowd around the dibber who've just got off...at least once you've gone through the gates you can fling you'reself at the tube/train with abandon.

Anonymous said...

APPP - name one country where it is not shameful to dodge the law.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure the barriers can be very health and safety friendly? Imagine rush hour, getting off the train and having to queue up and around the station steps to get out of Brockley station?

That's nuts!

Monkeyboy said...

The tube has had automatic ticket barriers for decades. I remember using them as a kid 30 years ago. It really is quiet simple, they're cheaper than paying for a ticket inspector.

I also used to jump on and off old Routemasters without paying as a kid, but then I am Italian.

Anonymous said...

... I suspect the cats are just keeping their heads down, eating the food and crapping in his slippers.

By the way I was in Australia in 2000/2001 - their were ticket barriers. In fact one of the strike tactics of the station staff was to throw them open. That way the traveling public were not disrupted but RailCorps lost the revenue.

Tamsin said...

@anonymous at 12.23 - almost any Westerm urban sub-culture. ASBOs are a badge of pride.

Facilitating the use of the Oyster card is certainly a practical plus point. (Although the feverish gathering of data about an individual's movements and journey patterns on the part of the State is rather disquieting.)

APP&P Troll said...

Anon, what you are asking for is an example of a country in anarchy . Outside the green zone in Iraq would be a good example.

Anonymous said...

I've never been bothered about the 'state' knowing where I go with my Oyster. So I get on at brockley station and get off at london bridge every day... wow. The payment of that particular travel usually goes on my credit card anyway, and I dont feel the need to wear a tin foil hat.

Tamsin said...

I know we are all trackable by our mobile phones - it's just the principle that matters and that we should be aware of even if we go along with things for the convenience of them.

And when it came to a state produced official form (the early CRB check application) asking gullible, vulnerable people to write out their bank details, date of birth and mother's maiden name to make the process for some inexplicable reason more convenient things went too far.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if ever a country needed ticket inspectors it's Iraq. The UN should do something about it.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you need consent for government departments to run CRB checks on their own data is in itself a reaction to things, just ocassionally, going too far the other way. But agreed, asking for that much detail all in one place (or at all) was disasterous.

lb said...

anon@10:20 - Presumably the UN could just redeploy all those unemployed weapons inspectors to check tickets?

Monkeyboy said...

...they wouldn't find any.

Do dah said...

I feel cross at the way things like this are introduced with little consultation. As a season ticket holder, I feel I am a stakeholder in the system and the station itself. I go there every working day, the station experience affects my life and can shape my day.

The rail authorities need to have some respect and let people know what is going on, why, how long etc all the crucial details.
I am grateful to this blog for info but the rail company should be more forthcoming about their plans.

Headhunter said...

Well I suppose some decisions just have to be made by an authority of some kind. If no decisions were made without consultation nothing would ever get done as we'd permanently be in a state of gathering opinions

Brockley Kate said...

It'd be nice if they put some kind of explanatory poster up in the station, saying what they were going to do. That wouldn't cause consultation hassle but would give people concerned at the plans an opportunity to comment before the changes take place.

I was really surprised that there wasn't any such info available when the station re-opened after its supposed 'refurbishment'.

APP$ said...

what makes me laugh is that the rail companies idea of 'station improvements' turns out to be the removal of benches.

The introduction of ticket barriers is great for protecting the companies revenue but an obstacle in the daily computers lives. It's a shame the uk has 'degenerated' so much.

lb said...

'Degenerated'? I still don't really think a sign that the barbarians are at the gates.

And even if they are, they'll need an Oyster card to get in.

Anonymous said...

Jesus christ why does everyone feel they have a right to be consulted? Such simple, small changes!

trollbuster said...

@dodah: I have to agree with anon on this. whenever I feel myself getting hot under the collar before i've even made it to the office, i just have to pull back and ask myself why i let it get to me. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether there are benches or ticket gates. its just another part of the furniture of our lives. the less time we spend thinking about it, the more we have for doing something more constructive with our time. there is no reason on earth why a sub-standard commute should affect you for the rest of the day. Let go! its liberating.

@appp: we look to you for a BRING BACK BRITISH BENCHES campaign. or is it BRITISH BENCHES FOR BRITISH PEOPLE? or whatever tangent you want to try and bait everyone with next.

patrick1971 said...

The whole thing with Oyster cars/Nectar cards etc. is an unwinnable situation. People who use public transport/use Sainsbury's complain that the management doesn't understand their journey/shopping patterns, and so makes bad routing/stocking decisions. Management introduces a mechanism to accurately track how people use the network/supermarket, and is accused of being Big Brother.

I used to work for Sainsbury's, and you would be amazed at the number of people who'd say to you, "I don't know why I always get offers for things I don't want" and then in the next breath complain about how intrusive Nectar was. (And before anyone says "well if it were that good, why were they still getting offers for things they didn't want", they generally were getting offers for similar products to those they bought, as a way of promoting items, so not totally unrelated products).

Tom said...

I wish it were like the good old days when people didn't just whinge and complain and blame everything on foreigners.

Bring back good old British standards like tolerance and thinking before opening your mouth.

Monkeyboy said...

You buy a ticket and have a mechanism to check those tickets. How exactly is that the sign of a degenerate society? Confused.com....

I remember the call of "tickets please" on the number 43 to school. We would all leap out of the back of the routemaster, much rather spend the money on chips or a 1/4 of Cola Cubes. Little did I know that I was contributing to the breakdown of civilisation as well as rotting my teeth.

Do dah said...

Consultation was too strong a word. But yes they could have put up a sign. 'The ELL is coming, what this means for you' for interested parties to have a look at.

As a commuter I'm essentially a captive consumer, so I guess there's no need to tell me anything.

Tamsin said...

Yes, information at least - I agree that to consult is to ask for trouble.

At Trollbuster - what is the difference between a bench and a barrier sounds like an obscure Carrolian riddle - but basically you can sit on a bench and a barrier is a right pain if you are overweight, in a hurry, have luggage and/or children

Anonymous said...

I did indeed see shiny new barriers at Brox station this morning. They were wide open, and currently nothing to stop you entering by The Matchbox and walking over. Guess that's to come.

Anonymous said...

Oh and for what it's worth, I passed through with my civil liberties intact.

Headhunter said...

Can we use Oyster pay as you go now from Brockers then? How do you buy a ticket from that ticket machine on the platform buy Matchbox if it's behind the barriers or have they moved it?

The Brockley Telegraph said...

that's what you think.

The thing about these barriers is that it forces people to be treated the same. The elderly or mothers with pushchairs all have to pass through the barriers. Not exactly the best solution but it removes people skills, a product of a multi-cultural society (where different groups have different values hence the need to remove the subjective nature of personal interaction between two people). Similar reason for the bright 'I want your iPod' signs. Its impersonal and technocratic. Its shameful to all those who have to use it.

Economically, I'm sure the cost saving the companies get far outway the cost of giving us the greater access to use oyster (which im sure has a relatively low installation cost 'above and beyond' what would of been incurred anyway). Essentially, that is the 'sweetner to take the pill' and we are being duped if you think the installation is primarily aimed at some sort of socially responsible goal of a private 'profit maximising' company

Rant over

patrick1971 said...

The "need to remove people skills" is actually a need of a capitalist society to save on labour costs, rather than a multicultural society, as I'm sure the Luddites would have told you had you been around when they were a-loom smashing in Ye Olden Days Before The Immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Why does Brockley Telegraph bring race into everything?

Brockley Nick said...

Actually, most employer organisations argue that people skills are the single most important thing that's required for our modern "multi-cultural" society. Which is a wonder that andy has a job at all.

Monkeyboy said...

I wish I had two degrees. I thought they were just to stop people without tickets traveling.

Shows what I know - I'm such a muppet.

The Brockley Telegraph said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Christ almighty - shut up! go and write an article on your blog and we'll respond if we can be arsed.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

and that's precisly why i disregard what some rude critics say on here. Becuase the truth is that i actually integrate very well with people from different communities in my work place. Most of them even agree with my views and some advocate stronger views. Ok its not a lefty lewisham workplace, but comments declaring it to be racist i find remarkably hilarious.

I even considered asking some of my ethnic colleagues (who I routinely talk to about this debate) to contribute on here but then I figured, what's the point, critics on here have to be right, its brockley central law as far as nick is concerned. By replies just get deleted.

jon s said...

As Nick says, peope skills are key in work and life. Half of my job is encouraging others to see a person not a task.

If you look at the ticket barriers you still need people skills, to help people with luggage and kids through, either as another commuter or the station staff.

Btw, APPP or whatever he is calling himself this week is probably a technical specialist/beancounter. In my view he is well intentioned but needs to develop his soft skills, at least in blogsphere. In the modern professional world we stick techies in little boxes where they have "expert power" (we need them e.g. some IT, Lawyers, Accountants, etc.) as opposed to "legitimate power" (we like them). Interestingly to get to the very top, you need both.

Andy, for personal development and this blog's sake please read this book:

Arbinger Institute (2006) "Leadership and Self Deception: Getting outside the box" Penguin

jon s said...

........if you want to make friends, or convince them of your views, calling them names is not the best idea.........

Monkeyboy said...

They're ticket barriers - get over it. (well actually don't, buy a ticket and go THROUGH them or you'll be arrested or mistaken for an Albanian)

The Brockley Telegraph said...

@jon s. Point noted. Although in my job (as an expert) I routinely deal with fc's/fd's of large blue chip companies so no dramatic flaws, but Funnily enough, I do need to develop my people skills further so a good spot there!

@monkeyboy. Go with the flow isn't really my thing :0)

Now, where did I put my jerk chicken....

Anonymous said...

There now appears to be not one but three ticket machines, and an oyster 'touch' point on the posh peoples/east side exit.

Tim said...

Good Job! :)

Mehmet said...

I have been using Brockley station for 18 years and it clear the number of people using the station has grown greatly. Goodness knows how many will use the station when the EEL comes. Basically the station needs another entrance on the east side to split the load. Any plans for this?

drakefell debaser said...

There are two entrances on the East already. It is the West side that needs its own access.

Well done to Matchbox for finally moving onto the London Bridge bound platform. The coffee is good and welcome particularly as Southern are once again going through their ‘crap service with lots of apologies over tannoy’ stage. In two morning commutes this week I think I have clocked up over 1 hour of delay time and travelled at an average speed of 0.1 miles per hour. It really is the future.

tyrwhitt michael said...

Consider yourself lucky.

The 7.52 at St John's this morning was announced over the PA, duly arrived and duly left without stopping....

Glad I wasn't one of the college employees on board who regularly alight there.

Anonymous said...

Matchbox have moved? Yay!

Although I must say, a delay the other week meant I gave Broca another go... this time the coffee was lovely!

Bea said...

Yes, saw Matchstick this morning too - made a bright and cheerful mark on an otherwise dreary platform. Pleased to see they seemed busy too.

The Cat Man said...

Why is everyone so happy to see Matchbox? Do people really need to grab a coffee when its something like a 10 mins commute to London Bridge?

I'm surprised no one is upset about 1/3 of the waiting room being disappeared. Surely what is better waiting for a train? Being dry for free or being made to pay for a coffee to get warm?

This is just another example of the station owners not giving a toss about the paying public - Now their 'station improvements' have resulted in two areas of benches being disappeared - in the ticket office and now on the platform.

Whatever next. It makes me so furious, and I even cycle to work mostly.

Anonymous said...

Hardly anyone that was sound of mind used to wait in that office. Not only was it full of people walking past, it was drafty and usually sloshing with muddy water from peoples shoes. Nicer to go and sit/stand outside, all told, with a coffee of course.

Anonymous said...

You do seem to spend a lot of time being angry.

Anonymous said...

Cat Man, is English your first language?

drakefell debaser said...

Why is everyone so happy to see Matchbox?

Forgive us regular train hoppers for celebrating the arrival of a little comfort then. The ‘waiting room’ was hardly a practical place to wait for a train, as a cyclist you might be unaware of this but, when the train comes you have to be positioned in the right area on the platform to ensure you can actually get on the train in the first place. Long gone are the days of just expecting to climb on, now you have to calculate your every move. Sitting in that dank room hoping to hear the train announcement, assuming it is on time, is pushing your odds of getting on too far and you are likely to break a leg running down the stairs in haste.

Having Matchbox on the outward bound platform meant a lot of commuters missed out on the chance of stopping by. Now matchbox, a local business which gathering from your previous posts you are in favour of, is able to capitalise on a bigger customer base making it more likely they will be able to weather the economic storm.

The state of Brockley station is not the fault of Matchbox and I am pleased that I can now enjoy a coffee on a cold morning whilst Southern make a mockery of train timetables.

The Cat Man said...

Lets see how you feel when it is raining and having to waddle through the army of umbrellas where the only shelter from the delayed train happens to be under a rotten bridge!

I used to catch the train before March 08 this year, every day so I know what it is like.

I'm not blaming Matchbox, for them it is a smart move. I blame the station owners - increasing the lack of meaningful facilities whilst increasing cost of rail fares. I wouldn't mind if we got something back, but we havn't. The only thing we have now is another service we need to pay for. (i.e. coffee).

Anonymous said...

Catman, that army of umbrellas will be increased by approximately 3 - i.e. the amount of people that used to sit in the ticket office.

Sumhow, even taking overcrowding into account, I think Brox station will cope.

Perhaps they could open a rice and pea stall to give you a winter warmer for the mornings?

The Cat Man said...

mmmm.. that sounds great.

Anyways, I may end up using the station again as not sure whether I should cycle through the winter.

I'd be getting a train at 6am to go to the gym, I assume Its not busy then?

Anonymous said...

Oh no. Have you thought of visiting one of the more genteel stations - St Johns, Ladywell, Crofton Park? Always guaranteed a seat!

patrick1971 said...

No seats this morning on the 0809 from Crofton Park; it was rammed! There was even some train rage when some woman started screaming, as the train drew into Peckham Rye, "Let me through! Let me through! I'm getting out here!" A gentleman remonstrated that no one could move anywhere until the train had shut and the doors had opened. Needless to state the woman just kept on screaming. Most odd.

The 0818 from Ladywell is actually not too bad; when standing, you do generally have some personal space available. And about one trip in every 30 you even manage to get a seat!

patrick1971 said...

Sorry, that should read "train had STOPPED".

Tressilliana said...

The Crofton Park trains have been very busy indeed recently, even the 1018 which I got this morning. Is there trouble on't'line elsewhere? One might have thought with the credit crunch that passenger numbers would have fallen but maybe everyone is rushing into work early to show willing while the big bosses decide who gets the redundancy notices.

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