Please sign the Coulgate Street Petition

In the last few days, we've had confirmation that Brockley Station will be refurbished, Brockley Common will be completed and Dandelion Blue is reopening shortly. By the time Brockley joins the tube network in little over a year, the area will be transformed.

But there remains one missing piece in the jigsaw. Coulgate Street itself. As the centre of Brockley's emerging commercial hub and the gateway for most visitors to the area, Coulgate Street is of vital importance to the area. But at present, it's jammed with cars, squeezing pedestrians on to cramped pavements and limiting the street's potential as a focal point for the community.

With a few quick, easy and cheap improvements, these problems could be solved. The Brockley Cross Action Group would like to create a pedestrian-friendly street by building a shared surface, lined with new street trees and new restrictions on parking. These restrictions could be introduced without having to bring in a Controlled Parking Zone for the wider area.

As part of this campaign, they have asked Brockley Central to create an online petition, so readers can register their support for the plan. Here is the petition - please sign it.

When Cllr Alexander visited the street with us last year, she and her team of officers immediately ackknowledged the challenge and agreed that action should be taken. This petition will be presented to Lewisham Council by the Brockley Cross Action Group in order to help turn sentiment in to action.

Thank you for showing your support.

And while we're talking about registering for things, please join the Brockley Central twitter at http://twitter.com/brockleycentral

71 comments:

nobbly brick said...

I wonder if the petition should include a section, or tick box, for people who want Coulgate Street to stay as it is?

Brockley Nick said...

That's easy Nobbly, you can set up a petition for those people. Why would anyone want it to stay as it is do you think?

Anonymous said...

Without wishing to sound vulgar - I wish there was a way to cast a "no" vote on parking restrictions - the thing I hate about petitions is that they're effectively a list of "yes"s without consultation of the "no" vote (shown only by a lack of signatory)

nobbly brick said...

I think a balance of opinion is a good thing, and I wouldn't want to wish that everyone had the same opinion as myself (of anything).

Perhaps speedicars and other taxi firms may have a differing opinion.

But of course, a petition is a petition.

Glad to see your doing something to assist the BXAG in their campaign however. From the rough waste-land springs a single flower.

Brockley Nick said...

Petitions aren't a consultation exercise, they are a show of strength of support for a particular cause. The lists with yes / no boxes are surveys and I dare say there would have to be one of those too before any change was implemented.

But very few - if any - Brockley people would be inconvenienced by any restrictions and the benefits would be significant. So I don't see why this should be a particularly contentious issue.

Anonymous said...

what date will spades be in the ground on the common?

nobbly brick said...

Perhaps the BXAG have a list of the benefits. I suppose it might attract Morris Dancers.

welcome to 2009 said...

Nobbly: The other day you seemed genuinely surprised that everyone thought you were a miserable old bore. Now here you are picking holes in things for no reason other than to snipe at Nick, who you seem deeply jealous of for some reason.

nobbly brick said...

I was simply asking a question - the rest is your transference Welcome...

welcome to 2009 said...

No mate - your behaviour is text book. If you've got nothing to add, please move on.

Brockley Nick said...

Much as I appreciate the sentiment, please can I ask that we end this little row here.

welcome to 2009 said...

Fine, I'm happy not to get dragged any further in to his pit of despair. Sorry about that.

nobbly brick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
drakefell debaser said...

looking forward, when does the work on the common start as the anon further up asked?

The Cat Man said...

I'll sign the petition. I'm not sure street trees are a good idea though for Coulgate street.

If we want it to become a commercial hub then street trees are better left to the off-streets, not the central ones.

I would really really like to see old fashioned cobblestones and victorian street lamps. Coulgate street is the oldest street in the conservation area, lets preserve it. It also makes the area look posh which is what Brockley needs to attract wealth.

patrick1971 said...

Obviously the biggest losers from any pedestrianisation would be Speedicars; they would presumably have to find new premises (and get a new sign, hahahaha).

Does anyone know if the small businesses in Coulgate Street want this? In my experience, small traders often feel that if cars can't access their shop, they'll be out of business (this was certainly the opinion of Mr Lawrence when I spoke with him at one of the Crofton Park assemblies). As a non-car user myself, I think it's easy to underestimate how much small businesses rely on passing cars; I can't think why on earth anyone would drive to Coulgate Street, but then again I can't think why anyone would have a car in London, so I'm clearly out of touch :-)

I've signed the petition and I support it, but just wondering if the small traders on the street did too...

Brockley Nick said...

I will hopefully have more detail about the proposal soon, but part-pedestrianisation doesn't mean banning all cars, it just means limiting them (eg: short stay bays, more clear space, etc). Don't know about Speedicars but they currently park their cars fairly far afield anyway.

As for local business support, Erin from the Broca is a member of BXAG.

Tressillian James said...

Also signed the petition - but think that Patrick has a very valid point about the small traders.

Not so sure though about the effect on Speedicars - a lot of minicab firms do not have outside premises parking - and surely the best thing for Speedis is front of station positioning.

Anonymous said...

Signed it! This better get the go ahead now, I can't be doing with spending £1.49 on failed petitions, especially in the current climate. Tee hee.

Bea said...

Signed it - really hope it goes ahead as it will make a huge improvement on the current lay out.

Seemed like a good idea at the time said...

How about reinstating a section of the Croydon Canal?

We could have Brockley's own Little Venice!

angelofthewest said...

wouldn't this mean commuting to london bridge via gondola? Romantic and all, but unfortunately likely to exacerbate the overcrowding issue, and with more perilous consequences. Didn't the canal run via the current rail bed? or am i mistaken..
& i too will be signing. i just love coulgate st. but i'll never forget the first time i saw it, after alighting from the train one winter evening to meet an estate agent and look at flats. It was less than welcoming. I can't wait for the improvements.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

There is clear scope and likely decent amount of support for pedestrianising Coulgate Street in some way. If 'full' pedestrianisation isn't possible then we should remember that many areas have pedestrianisation during certain days or times -'market days'.

Without wanting to preempt what the impact such part closures might have on businesses, the logisitics of establishing some form of regular market type events, and a pattern of closure for community events like the Christmas market, Brockley Max etc would soon be understood by all affected and people will work around these - particularly if the effect on them is at worst neutral and could be positive.

Very happy to present the final petition to the next available Council Meeting (not April as this will be the AGM).

Dean

SLAGIATT said...

You're right angel the canal did run along the line of what is now the railway track.

The shops in Coulgate Street however are thought to be canal worker's or lock keeper's cottages no less.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who pays a fortune to run their car - London can be hell for drivers. If its not a congestion charge here its a meter there or perhaps a CPZ somewhere else. Brockley represents a paradise for us drivers who recall a byegone era where you weren't constantly penalised for happening to have a car. Most of the rest of the country is still like this.

It would be a shame to have this taken away from us on Coulgate St.

M said...

Do you park on Coulgate street often then?
Jesus - it's one small street in your 'drivers paradise' which would look much nicer and provide easier access to the shops and station if it were pedestrianised.

Get some perspective and stop being so selfish you poor, persecuted driver you...

Headhunter said...

SLAGIATT - The canal ran along Shardeloes Rd, where the big poem is before joing what is now the railway line I think. It didn't match the railway completely...

Anonymous - the entirity of central London is designed around the motorist. Road markings, traffic lights and controls are all in place to help smooth the motorists journey. They're certainly not there for pedestrians who only get a narrow strip at the edge of teh road (pavement). The only reason that you get stuck in traffic is that there are way too many motorists!

As for paying through the nose, currently taxation on motorists does not cover the costs involved of maintaining and building our highways and byeways, so I don't see why motorists shouldn't pay for their road use.

As for Brockley, so far there are no CPZ, no restrictions or controls at all (except perhaps for 20mph limits on some roads which everyone ignores anyway), surely motorists can concede a small patch of Brockley (Coulgate St) to pedestrians?

Motorists always see themselves as the eternal victims when in fact everything is served to them on a plate!

quick brown fox said...

Which poem is that then, HH? The Waste Land?

Headhunter said...

The big poem, written in silver along the red wall running from Brockley Cross...

Tamsin said...

Referred to it recently on another thread. Here's a link.
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/LeisureAndCulture/ArtsService/PublicArt/LocalAreas/ShardeloesRoad.htm

Live Work Love Laugh
Gather Greet Stay
Trade Travel Believe Build
Eat Drink & Play

See Hear Taste Touch
Sit Breath Sleep
Teach Learn Care Create
Sow Grow & Reap

BXAG commissioned it and I think it is one of the best bits of public art ever.

Tressillian James said...

And before the poem the wall was a graffiti haven, one of the reasons the poem was commissioned, i think.

I am also a moterist, but would welcome a full pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street. This would not add to traffic flows on other streets, and if there was drop off access for blue-badge holders, then it would not inconvenience the disabled or the elderly. The truth is the only drivers who use it now, are commuters parking there, and Speedicabs guys waiting for their next fare

Monkeyboy said...

poor old Speedicars! they are a very professional outfit in my experience (in the main) A decent cab office near a station is good transport planing is it not? I shouldn't think they would be too gutted at loosing spaces, I've seen them parked up elsewhere so as long as they are allowed to run past the office to pick up passengers at the office who have booked there should be no issue?

Rubbish sign though

Aunt Kate said...

I would like to see a separate petition for the pedestrianisation contingent. I really think there should be be barrier bollards up over approx the 20 sq m centred on the approach to the bridge/station ticket office. Speedicars is really a form of public transport - nothing against them - but I loather the commuter parking and rat-runners trying to shortcut the traffic lights at the Barge

Anonymous said...

Is lack of space on the pavements really an issue? I walk up and down them every day and wonder if BC commenters are immeasurably large...

Anonymous said...

yes in fact we are.

Headhunter said...

It's not about lack of pavement space though, it's about having a little space away from thundering traffic and fumes. Pedestrians don't "need" Coulgate St particularly for access, it would just create a pleasant space in front of the station.

Do motorists really need Coulgate St for anything other than plonking their cars right outside the station? It's not an important access road. Couldn't they just park a little further away and actually use their legs?

Comment said...

In principle I would agree with this, but I am concerned that there could be a knock on effect with those cars that park there parking up and around the surrounding rounds and then the pressure for a CPZ mounting.
And once it's in one part of Brockley it'll be all over. Lewisham council have seemingly unlimited resources and energy for traffic management.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Not a precident that Brockley should set.

And "thundering traffic and fumes" Headhunter? Coulgate Street?

Paddyom said...

Nick, was it decided that this website is not the correct forum to fundraise for improvements in the locality, i.e. similar to the Honor Oak Park blog which has raised money for a funky new park bench, new recycling bins etc...?

Maybe the Council would be more receptive to change on Coulgate St if it saw how the local Community would actually match (to a certain %) any funds it commits to such improvements....

Maybe its time to get the buckets out and start harrassing drivers at the traffic lights and start the fundraising - enough drivers use SE4 as a cut through at rush hour, perhaps we should start charging them a toll like the good people of Dulwich have done... :)

patrick1971 said...

How have the "good people of Dulwich" organised a toll? What a great idea.

Anonymous said...

They've had one of the country's few surviving turnpikes for years

patrick1971 said...

Well there you go. I knew they still had a turnpike but didn't know it was still active. The joys of being car-free! :-)

Brockley Nick said...

@PaddyOM - no, I'd be very happy to put a collection box on the site, if someone with a relevant good cause wants to ask me to. It would need to be from an established organisation (eg: Tea Leaf Arts, BXAG, Broc Soc) and I'd want assurances that the money would be ringfenced for a particular project, so people knew what they were donating to.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

@Paddydom...now a truly controversial proposal could be a seperate 'congestion charge' for Coulgate Street...the only congestion charge outside of London is in the City of Durham and I think it was introduced to stop people driving down the high street or whatever parking to get cash from the machines and basically driving off. This behaviour caused loads of congestion/hassle and did nothing to support the local shops. Not sure what happened next...a quick google anyone?

Of course a congestion charge for Coulgate Street is a complete non-starter and I threw it in as a red herring. The real point being however is that the solid parking that currently happens in Coulgate Street is clearly of no benefit to Speedicars (how can they park their cars there) - in fact a taxi rank open to licensed minicabs within a pedestrianised area could help them and could bring Speedicars closer into the public transport infrstruture as mentioned by someone earlier; controlled access by car to the station and shops could help both those who need to drive to the station on account of disability or luggage etc can do so and shops can organise their deliveries around times when they can park up outside their premises.

In many ways the pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street has the potential to bring some real benefits. The most significant downside that has been brought out in this debate is that some people will not be able to park in Coulgate Street.

Pressure on parking space is a constant theme/issue in tightly built up areas like ours. Do we allow that to dominate the debate and refuse to contenance any development that may slightly reduce the availabilty of parking space? A bit off topic (sorry)...

However there is every scope for introducting more car clubs and other ways of actually reducing the pressure on parking in Brockley, which is something that I have supported.

BrockleyBiker said...

I think it would be good to have Coulgate Street pedestrianised. It looks very scrappy at the moment (over flowing bins, poor road surface, cars everywhere, pointless railings). It would certainly make Brockley look more welcoming.

BrockleyBiker said...

As far as residents parking goes I am generally against even though all and sundry seem to park on my road. Can be a nightmare trying to find a space sometimes.

The problem with residents parking charges is that councils like to keep raising once everyone is locked into them which is very unfair.

Richard said...

I like the idea of a shared surface road with parking only for Speedicars, businesses and short stays. Short stay bays still allow for drop-offs at the station.

Coulgate street should be a local hub - small shops, cafes, etc on a quiet street with plenty of passing trade from the station. Plus a nice common to boot.

Headhunter said...

"And "thundering traffic and fumes" Headhunter? Coulgate Street?" - I was talking about roads in general not specifically Cuolgate Street. It's just nice to have car free space.

Headhunter said...

I doubt the pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street is really going to be a threat to parking across the whole of Brockley forcing the council to initiate a CPZ!

Have you actually seen Coulgate Street? It's not a multi storey car park, it's the size of a postage stamp! Pedestrianisation would make no difference to the overall parking situation in Brockley. Don't panic you poor hard done by motorists, if the council wants a CPZ it will have one whether or not Coulgate is pedestrianised.

Something like the 80-place + 20 staff (or whatever the exact numbers are) nursery on Manor Ave is going to have a far bigger impact as well as recent residential developments approved with very little parking (like the one on Geoffrey Rd, which has yet to be started).

Anonymous said...

It may lead to people asking "if we could pedestrianise this street, can we pedestrianise another?" which leads onto the perfectly valid question of why pedestrianise at all. Plenty of pedestrians use the street every day without issue - cars and pedestrians can coexist peacefully!

fabhat said...

Anons: It's not just about making it better for the pedestrians - it's also to do with making the first entry point to Brockley more attractive and pleasant for everyone, as well as creating a space for events like markets and things like that to happen.

Paddyom said...

@Nick - sounds like a good idea to me. Perhaps the BXAG could put forward some suggestions of worthwhile improvements to the area which may be worth raising funds for. The Honor Oak Park blog is currently fundraising for a nice street bench at the station there. Similar street furniture, street art, public lighting, welcome signage, flowerbeds and hanging baskets etc... would all i assume be the kinds of things individuals and business may contribute towards if there was a forum to do it.

Headhunter said...

So Anon, in your view, pedestrianisation is like some kind of unstoppable force, once the genie is out of the lamp, there will be rampant pedestrianisation resulting in nowhere for motorists to drive or park. Sounds as likely as seeing the man on the moon sailing down the Thames.

Anonymous said...

If it means the Broca can have tables outside, I'm all for it.

Headhunter said...

I thought about that too. It could be really pleasant there, a little calm square by the station

Anonymous said...

will the shops in C st be putting their hands in their pockets towards this project?as I recall they are responsible for the path upkeep not local taxpayers,

or is it another 'merchant banker' story...they gain we pay.

Will the Brocca be paying rent on the extra table space?
or is it just going to be another tax payer freebie?

Anonymous said...

Plenty of talk about the small businesses in Coulgate Street. No mention of the people who actually live there. As usual. There are 6 households along Coulgate Street and (at the moment) 2 functioning businesses - Speedicars and The Broca. So the only benefit would be to The Broca.

Where are residents expected to park if the street is pedestrianised? It's already difficult to pull up anywhere near where you live between 8am and 6pm on week days but at least I can park in the evenings after work and am able to load/unload my vehicle, clean it and maintain it without having to walk miles carrying heavy tools, shopping, my sleeping kids etc.

As for a regular market...
We went through all this 4 years ago with the Brockley Market campaign which failed to establish a market on the street due to local opposition.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon resident, I understand your concerns and I think we should keep the market issue separate, because a) it's a separate planning issue and b) I don't think a regular market there would be viable anyway, particularly as there are already two farmers markets nearby every month.

However, as regards parking outside your house, there are all kinds of compromises and concessions that could help your position - what's proposed is a part pedestrianisation, not a total ban on all cars at any time. For example, it sounds as though you can't park there during working hours anyway, due to other cars, so parking restrictions could be lifted at night for the benefit of residents - or short stay parking bays during the day to allow you to unload things from your car?

With these kinds of policies, the road stays clear and you get car access to your house (possibly even better access than at present). At other times, you park around the corner, which it sounds as though you have to do fairly often anyway.

As a result, you get to live on a nicely landscaped street, rather than one choked with other people's cars all day.

Does that sound good?

Anonymous said...

The market isn't a seperate issue. This is a discussion about that petition which calls for Coulgate Street to become a "street where a regular street market can be held"

Tamsin said...

but Nick's thoughts on the issue of parking for the residents of Coulgate street sound like a very constructive way forward to keep everyone happy. What are your views as one of those residents?
And a street market that has to go through the planning/licensing process is a different issue. The proposed part pedestrianisation might make it possible but does not make it inevitable.

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cat Man said...

I have to be honest, but why would someone want to rent/buy a house immediately opposite a well-served train station and then demand car access? If we are talking about access to transport, then those flats on coulgate street benefit from being right next to a train station, a cab firm and indeed several bus routes.

It sounds to me like these households need to appreciate the wider benefits to brockley and to other households and not to be so short-sighted. If the market/pedestrianisation makes coulgate street better for the manjority of users then so be it. I wonder how many of the '6' households have cars? How many of the households on coulgate street have kids? I maybe 2?

I appreciate that owning a car has its benefits (the quick journey to B&Q etc..) but there are many other flats available in the present market that would offer better car parking. Indeed, I would imagine at comparable if not better rents for the size of property.

Anonymous said...

You've answered your own question - the trips to B+Q, supermarket, family far away etc. - travel via train or anythign else doesn't have to be a means to an end.

The Cat Man said...

Fine, but if that was an important part of your daily routine, why would you buy/rent a flat opposite a very useful train station/cab office/bus routes.

It sounds like this resident in particular wants all the pie instead of their fair share.

westsider said...

Anon I don't follow you at all. What point are you making please? As a resident of coulgate street, how would you feel about the kind f scenario nick described? If nothing else, it would push the value of your house up to have a nice part pedestrianised street.

Anonymous said...

Living next to a station doesn't mean you can't have car, as both methods of transport have different applications and no one of them is a complete replacement for another.

Anonymous said...

Relax Westsider - Cat man is a well known idiot who cannot put together cogent thought.

westsider said...

Actually I was talking to the anon resident. No-one (apart from maybe catman) is suggesting coulgate st residents shouldn't have cars, just that these changes might actually make it easier for them as well as making their street a hell of a lot nicer. I don't get the objection.

fabhat said...

Having just spent the afternoon with a couple of Coulgate St residents (who have a young baby) they would like the pedestrianisation, especially if it included bays for loading unloading etc, as at the moment all the spaces are taken up by people who drive to the station and park all day...

So as residents, when they want to unload their shopping etc there are no spaces. If it's pedestrianised they will actually have more chance of being able to unload closer to their door then they do now.

Their feeling was that the parking on Coulgate St, is mostly used by train commuters and so doesn't really benefit them.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

Angry of Coulgate Street here again.

Sorry for any bad feeling. In retrospect I realise that I was angry about something else. I was just letting off steam and feel a bit foolish now :-S. What was I doing out of bed and looking at this site at 07:29 on a Sunday morning anyway???

I think the plans for the street sound great and I give it my full backing. Still not sure about a regular market though but I'd be willing to discuss it rather than write it off.

I'd also like to make it clear that I have nothing against the people from the Broca. In fact I don't really know them which seems a shame as we are neighbours.

Anywa, with that off my chest, here's to a happy future for everyone down our street.

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