Brockley commutes

If you're wondering why it's a bit quiet around here and why we've stooped to cutting and pasting (admittedly relevant) press releases from the Council, it's because we've "gone dark" this week, "living off the grid". Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Meanwhile, Paddyom has been in touch regarding his heartless employers, who are contemplating a move from Piccadilly to Reading, which may as well be off the grid...


"I was wondering whether you could start a conversation on the blog about how far and to where people from SE4 commute each day.

"I am now facing a 3hrs round trip commute each day compared with 1.5hrs door to door currently.

"I would be interested in seeing whether there are people in the area that already endure a similar commute that doesn't end at London Bridge, Cannon Street or Charing Cross and indeed if anyone travels even farther a field than Reading how they cope and how they find it.

"I would be delighted to see the responses."

Our company recently relocated from Piccadilly to Victoria, having come tantalisingly close to choosing an office at London Bridge. At the time, we thought it was a disaster, but while the commute is more expensive, it's little different in terms of time and it's acted as more of an incentive to cycle, which is actually quicker than going to the west end. Reading is a different matter though, and given that the housing market has ground to a halt, it's a pretty unsympathetic employer that forces its staff to commute to a different city, in our opinion. Our suggestion is that he tells his bosses about Brockley's attractions as a business location.

66 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

I work in London Bridge so I'm afraid I'm one of those hideously smug people with a really short commute. And sometimes I work from home, which makes the commute even better! (bed ---> kitchen (for a cup of tea) ----> back to bed again (with laptop).

Tamsin said...

Lewisham High Street just south of the Hospital, so a very short drive to the back end of Dressington Avenue, then a walk over the Ravensbourne and railway line (the amazing whirly bridge you can cycle over) and through Ladywell Recreation Ground. Very pleasant - you can look at the moorhens or wave to the train-drivers. Also thinking about - but haven't done it yet - the 484.
Used to go to Bromley - brilliant, against the rush. When taking the train I would choose an empty compartment rather than fighting for a seat, when driving you look smugly at the traffic jams in the other direction.

Anonymous said...

I leave my house, go to either Brockley or Ladywell as the mood takes me, step off at London Bridge and stroll into my shop 45 minutes after I left home. Not bad really is it?

And only £50 a month, which I'm told is on the very low side.

Anonymous said...

Tasmin have you some issue with walking and/or using public transport. I remember it was you talking about driving to Meze Mangal.

drakefell debaser said...

Vauxhall is the nearest station for me which is a sod due to the 3 overland changes -Brockley - LB, LB - Waterloo East, Waterloo - Vauxhaul. If i am lucky it takes 45 minutes. In the evening i take the tube to avoid the hell that is Waterloo evening rush hour so go South Vic line from Vauxhaul to Stockwell then change for the Northern line to LB before Southern takes over again.

The Cat Man said...

London Bridge for me (More London Place) so only 20 mins cycle door to door for me!


*grin*

Me said...

Even better, nearest rail station to my work is Clapham Junction so a 30 min train drive with a 5 minute walk at both ends.

Also cheap as chips as it's not considered a London station. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I travel in the opposite direction to Sidcup on the 321. Not too bad a commute.

Anonymous said...

But Andy, don't you find you get there quicker but dripping with sweat?

Unless your job is holding a whip and wearing a gimp suit in the Dungeons, I can't see how that would be appropriate or conducive to a modern workplace.

Hugh said...

Forces it's staff? Oh dear.

Hugh said...

But to answer the question, we work in the City. Trains to Cannon Street from St Johns are a cinch, although we prefer to ride. You've seen the thighs.

fabhat said...

I work from home, but have to travel all over London and beyond for appointments...but mostly out of busy times.

betamatt said...

I work in Chiswick so I basically cross London everyday - Ladywell to Charing X then the District line from Embankment to Gunnersbury. Just over an hour on a good day - worst ever time 2 and a half hours!
It's a right pain in the arse to be honest...

Brockley Nick said...

Hugh, I thought you would show a little more tolerance given that I typed it two-thumbed onto a two inch screen, in between nappy changes. Especially since you boobed on "snake's on a train?" ;)

Richard said...

It's a 10 minute walk, tops, for me, from Honor Oak Park to Jam Circus. I don't know what I'd do now if I had to move to a job involving an actual commute!

The Cat Man said...

Yeah, i am normally dripping with sweat. But there are shower rooms (with complimentary hairdryer and shower gel etc) to use.

The cycle park is underground too, so theres no problems with security.

*double grin*

Anonymous said...

I know I just couldn't leave the house without having done my Three Ss (shower, shave, sh..) - and trying to do the same alongside my coworkers in the office in the morning just wouldn't feel right.

Anonymous said...

Down to the elephant myself - 40 min running or 25 on the bike. (Indeterminate time by 172 bus or train via London bridge.) Employer has showers so no sweat problems either.

Costs one pair of running shoes and a bike service per year (plus the odd tenner on my oyster . . . ;-))

Hugh said...

Nick, I 'boobed' without reading the article (still haven't). Forgive the forensic cynicism that trips my solecism detector to step in and make the shot like a blue-eyes killa.

Not sure what thumbs have to do with it.

Do you want a bike race?

Hugh said...

Speaking of typos...

Anonymous said...

Grammar and spelling discussions on the internet are like being in a special needs race; win or lose, you're still a retard.

Hugh said...

Why's that?

Headhunter said...

About 25 mins by bike to Chancery Lane, or about 50 mins run.

I shower when I arrive having brushed my teeth and shaved before leaving home. There's one shower room, so I don't shower in public.

Drakefell - With your commute you should most definitely have a bike, with practice and fitness I'm sure you could get to Vauxhall in about 25 mins.

Bea said...

Currently it’s a train from Brockley to London Bridge and then 20 minute march across the bridge and into the City. (On a bad weather day I sometimes take the train to Cannon Street but it takes nearly as long as walking once waiting time is accounted for).

I used to do a two hour commute (1.5 hrs train and 30 min underground) from beyond Reading (deepest Wiltshire) and into the City. It was a killer in terms of any social life in the evening. However, I usually got a seat and was really up-to-date on what the papers had to say as well as reading my way through the local library.

tyrwhitt ali said...

Mine's about 35 minutes into Canary Wharf via the DLR, although a large chunk of that is walking. Still it's much better now the DLR is back to normal and I hadn't have to do the annoying change at Island Gardens.

I'm surprised that I'm the only person so far who goes to the Wharf....

Vikki said...

When I moved here I had a nice 30-35min commute via St Johns to Westminster (I live 2 mins from station).

I now work between Stockwell and Brixton and, if everything works, it takes 50mins door to door but more often than not it's an hour.

I sometimes get a couple of buses, changing in Peckham or Camberwell Green but I got so fed up of traffic on Lewisham Way I now usually get the train to London Bridge and then get the Northern Line to Stockwell.

My other half works in Kings Cross and gets the train and tube and he's pretty much 50mins too.

fabhat said...

Tywhitt Ali, I live with a wharf dweller and he gets to work in about 30 mins door to do as well. It's a pretty good challenge to the London Bridge commute for ease and certainky less crowded...

drakefell debaser said...

HH - yes, since we last touched on this i have looked into it and i am almost there in terms of getting the bike etc - too many choices in that respect.

Headhunter said...

DD - Excellent.... Although you're just in time for cycling through winter. Don't let the dark, cold and wet winter mornings put you off. Keep on pushing through!

You could probably get to Vauxhall by bus fairly easily even. I'm sure one of those bendies along Lewisham Way goes right through to Vauxhall

nobbly brick said...

do you people still commute?

God bless you all but working at home beats getting colds and flu on the rat run any day.

Anonymous said...

What do you get in exchange? Depression? Agoraphobia? B.O.?

Aunty kate said...

Apropos train commutes..On my way home from Waterloo East this afternoon I noticed the Carillion contractors starting work on the rail line this (Brockley) side of tunnel under New X Gate...

Anonymous said...

The new ticket barriers are a bit funky aren't they? Have you seen the speed those tickets whizz through at?

Headhunter said...

I prefer to commute, the daily bike ride keeps me fit and gets me out of the flat and I quite enjoy interacting with my colleagues. Wouldn't really want to sit at home all day on my own, I'd go stir crazy...

Hugh said...

Headhunter, how quickly do you ride? We should go in together one morning.

Tressilliana said...

I used to travel from Crofton Park to Shepherds Bush every day, but that was in the halcyon days when the Thameslink stopped at CP which helped a lot - CP to Farringdon, then onto the Hammersmith and City line. Took an hour door to door on a good day.

In my auditing days, long ago, I had some grim journeys to clients but fortunately never for longer than about three weeks all told. Crofton Park to Crawley was bad, but I think CP to Reading was the worst. I will conced that it would have been much easier if I'd been able to drive.

Now I get the train from CP to Denmark Hill. 25 minutes door to door with the 484 as back-up and walking as the method of last resort. I'm glad I don't have to commute into Central London any more.

smoocher said...

i cannot believe you are taking THREE TRAINS to get to vauxhall drakefell.

the 36 and 436 go straight to vauxhall station so just a 5/10 minute walk to new cross and only £1.80 return on your oyster.

cycling depending on how fit you are is between 15/25 minutes.
if you're interested in buying a bike the government run an amazing scheme if you can get your employer involved. i can't for the life of me remember what its called, i'm sure someone will give you the url.

Richard Elliot said...

A cycle ride to Canary Wharf for me. Very pleasant way to commute with the DLR from Deptford Bridge on the occassion I don't want to cycle.

The worst bit is using the Greenwich Tunnel when the lifts are closed.

tyrwhitt ali said...

Richard, I don't envy you lugging your bike up all those stairs! I contemplated cycling during July and August but figured it wasn't worth buying a bike just for that.

Fabhat, you're right, it's definitely less crowded. I normally go to Lewisham rather than Elverson Road, as I can guarantee myself a seat then :-)

Tamsin said...

Anon @ 12.18 It wasn't me walking to Meze Mangal (or actually going there at all). No issue with public transport - the 484 was a factor I had in mind with this new job and note that I used to use the train to Bromley - stopped when I went part-time (no season ticket discounts) and was also having to drop children off at various schools/child-minders around SE London. I made sure public transport was always an option but it did more than double the journey time.
I would never drive with the flow of traffic - have never been able to understand those who commute in cars INTO Central London or around the South Circular.

Headhunter said...

Hugh - Takes me about 20-25 mins into Chancery Lane. I tend to be pretty good at waiting at red lights unless it's a small, quiet junction and there is absolutely nothing going on. So I'm not a hell for leather, blast right through type of cyclist.

What time do yo head in? I usually start from between 7.45 and 8am. I'll cycle with you if the timing is OK?

You been out with Dulwich Paragon recently?

Smoocher - we've already had the dicsussion about the government bike to work scheme on another thread

The Cat Man said...

that's quite late! I leave my house at 6.30, isn't the traffic really bad at that time? I'm actually on annual leave at the mo, currently residing in Winchester, a beautiful English city with a large cathederal and castle ruins. Very little crime and full of tradition - it's like a breath of fresh air after living in Lewisham!

Headhunter said...

I've never cycled in at 6.30am so I have no idea how the traffic compares but I suppose it is pretty bad in the morning rush hour. It's less bad in the evening. If it takes you 20 mins or whatever to get to London Bridge by bike you must be at work before 7! Why do you need to be in so early?!

drakefell debaser said...

Smoocher - 3 trains is daft, I follow my other half on her way to Charring X so I blame her entirely for my miserable commute, and my employer for leaving Trafalgar Square I should add. I have tried the bus as well, more on the return leg but I find busses have worse reliability issues than trains and it took about an hour and a half on one occasion which put me off. I am going to buy the bike on my own rather than get my employer involved, it will pay for itself over a couple of months and I have found that those that participate as suppliers for the scheme have bikes more expensive than some online suppliers that don’t participate so the tax saving is negligible all things considered.

tj said...

Used to go into Canary Wharf every day - easy communte; but now work from home, pop into an office in Blackfriars Rd sometimes (St Johns - Waterloo East - walk to blackfriars), but usually am on the way to Heathrow or Gatwick and going a little bit further a field. Gatwick is very easy from Brockley, Heathrow a pain in the arse, City great unless the DLR is not running (late at night waiting for a bus in the depths of East London - shudder)

Anonymous said...

I usually get the 9:01...

Do dah said...

It takes me 30-35mins to get to Bank but its 30-35 mins of hell!

The season ticket must be about a thousand pounds for the year, I have around £80 deductions each month for it.

Anonymous said...

Because cat man is clearly an frustrated audit monger, one of the f**k it, tick it brigade.

Ah ha his consternation becomes clear, dismay at all those foreign nationals nicking the best audit jobs....

drakefell debaser said...

Winchester is also just over an hours commute to Paddington.

What bliss eh? - few foreign nationals, well, apart from Mr Patel who runs the newsagents and Mrs Olobango at the post office; no steel bands at the fayre or Caribbean food…jerk chicken, rice and pea! Who ever thought? R&B is not overwhelmingly popular etc etc. Personally I would relocate.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Winchester Waterloo? Even easy for the CatMan to get to his job in London Bridge..

London Bridge...E&Y...PWC - surely CatMan is not at one of these big 4, with their diversity policies and equal opportunities???

Anonymous said...

Isn't Winchester Waterloo? Even easier for the CatMan to get to his job in London Bridge..

London Bridge...E&Y...PWC - surely CatMan is not at one of these big 4, with their diversity policies and equal opportunities???

Paddyom said...

Thanks Nick for running this thread, plenty of interesting comments to digest. It seems that most people in the area work in either the west end/city/LB/canary or work from home which is no surprise. I was hoping there would be someone who commutes from Brockers to say...Cardiff who would say it was a piece of cake but I admit that was a bit hopeful.

The only person who appears to have done a spell of long distance commuting was Tressiliana who did Reading from Crofton Park which she described as 'the worst'. How long did it take you to get there Tressiliana and what route did you take? I am going to try the train from SE4 to LB, then 2 tubes to Paddington and then bolt for the train to Reading from there...ugh I wont even be able to get comfortable as its constant changes. Crossing one of Europes largest cities at rush hour twice a day is not my idea of fun. And neither is the annual train ticket from London to Reading which is almost £3,500!

I know its hard it imagine but you lot are all officially lucky to be commuting from SE4 to central London on the Southern bangers...next time you are dreading it think of poor me running for the train in Reading - 1.45hrs away.

Tressilliana said...

Paddy, it was for one week in 1985 so not exactly current information, and come to think of it it was shortly before we moved to CP so the journey was actually from Tufnell Park, which isn't much easier as a starting point to get to Paddington.

south, safe n sorted said...

Olobango at the post office - quality stuff dd ha ha ;)

Tamsin said...

Not sure about buses in the rush hour (although that is what bus lanes are for) but the way to get to Paddington with no changes (so at least you can settle in a corner and work) is the 36 or 436. (It was great when it was routemasters and I was doing it fairly regularly with two small children - straight up to the top deck and then not move until you got to Praed Street.)

As an alternative to going so far north - aren't there also trains to Reading from Waterloo?

Tamsin said...

Yes, I wasn't dreaming there are trains from Waterloo to Reading - but they call at 17 stations on the way so take forever (well, one hour 23 minutes). On the plus side you would be going against the rush and they have a cycle policy, on the downside - there are only a couple in the morning rush hour so if one is cancelled you're stuck. (Although a quick change of plan going by the underground to Paddington would probably get you there not much - if any - later. You would just have to leave your bike if you have one in Waterloo. Visions of taking a bike on the underground in the morning rush hour....)

Tamsin said...

Actually - I maligned them. There are two an hour thoughout the day and three between eight and nine.

Also I see you cycle - so I think this is the way. I am sure others on this site can tell you of the best cycle routes to Waterloo via leafy Nunhead, Peckham and Camberwell.

All you then need is to have a shower installed on the train!

Headhunter said...

You can't take bikes on deep level Tube lines like the Northern Line, Central Line etc. I think yuo're basically restricted to lines like the Circle, Metropolitan and District if you have a bike. Having said that, I've managed to sneak mine onto the Northern Line when it's quiet and no one seems to care.

Anonymous said...

Can Wharf - I go from St Johns to L Bridge then 3 stops on the jubilee line to CW. It's very quick as long as you catch your intended overland train.

However, Im allowing myself to get quite excited as it seems the ELL extension is really happening. Then my commute will be ELL from brockley to canada Water and one stop from there to CW on Jubilee.

Bliss.

Headhunter said...

Surely it's quicker just to take the DLR from Deptford Bridge to CW? When it re-opens that is.

tyrwhitt ali said...

anon @ 17.39, why on earth don't you get the DLR from Elverson Road or Lewisham. It's quicker than going via London Bridge and much more pleasant - I always get a seat. It's also cheaper as you don't have to go into Zone 1 and can use pre pay the whole way.

Headhunter is Deptford Bridge actually shut? I didn't think it was although I'm normally well into my book by then so can't say I've noticed.... oh dear, typical commuter!

Headhunter said...

Oh, not sure whether DBr stn is shut - I assumed it was. I tried to get the DLR from Cutty Sark to DBr on Sun morn and the whole thing was shut beyond CW or something like that. I thought that was permanent but perhaps it's only weekends. I barely ever use the DLR.

tj said...

As a commuter from Canary Wharf for about 5 years, I can confirm that the DLR is certainly quicker. Right now it is down at wekeends so they can extend the platforms - longer trains, more seats and room, more comfort for commuters - the DLR really does get it right.

tyrwhitt ali said...

If it was a Sunday then it definitely was just weekend engineering works. As TJ says, the DLR really does get it right. The works over the summer finished bang on time and they even managed to cancel one day of the bank holiday weekend closures as they were slightly ahead!

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