Brockley Station works update

PROSSER: Look. These plans have been on display at the planning office now for a year.
ARTHUR: On display? I had to go down to a cellar!
PROSSER: That's the display department.
ARTHUR: I eventually found them in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'beware of the leopard'.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Although often a controversial figure, Brockley Central regular Catman has succeeded where all others have failed and managed to extract some information from Lewisham Council about when on earth we might expect the work to Brockley Common and Station to be completed.

The project is now many months late and there has been very little visible sign of work being done, let alone progress. Occasionally, two guys might be seen stirring a tiny little pot of cement or moving something from one place to another, but given the extent of delays and the significant inconvenience the closure of the bridge and much of Coulgate Street has caused, one might hope for a little more urgency and some clear information about what is going on. Instead, Catman had to quote complaints policy rules to the Council before any information was forthcoming.

There is a lot more to be said in due course about how this project has been managed and what needs to happen next in order for the vision of an improved station and common to be properly realised. For now, however, here is the information from the Council about what they expect to happen next:

- The re-paving of Coulgate Street is to be completed later this month [all we've noticed so far is tarmac]

-
The coping stones to the ramp have not been delivered yet - although this does not stop the ramp from being useable [sic]. Delivery is expected in 4 - 6 weeks

- By the end of next week the paving works to the steps should be complete - weather permitting. Once the hand rail has been delivered it will be fitted and we can then open the steps

-
We are currently seeking estimates for the seeding of the banking

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lewisham council should hang their heads in shame over this. Ancient cultures built temples quicker than this...

drakefell debaser said...

Yes, I was going to say they build developments in Canary Wharf quicker than what has been achieved at Brockley station. I walked past it all yesterday and it looked the same as it did the week before.

I also noticed that no matter what they do to try and stop people from cutting the corners, rather than use the ramp, people are still determined to get through. I would suggest laying a few landmines but that might damage the pavement causing further delays.

Fascinating display of incompetence really.

Brockley Kate said...

Just goes to prove public bodies are in many cases appalling when it comes to commissioning and contracting ...

Think on this: if this is how they manage a simple station refurb project, can you imagine what a mess their housing PFI contract is in?

ade said...

never thought the day would come but here goes... thank you Catman!!!!

Matt-Z said...

Two things.

1. Why have there been such delays in getting the coping stones and handrails? Surely they should have been ordered months ago, even before the asbestos was found, when the project was running to plan

2. Simliar to above, why are they only now getting quotes to seed the banking? Percy Thrower could do it quicker than Lewisham and he's been dead 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I heard from a reliable source that the Councils PFI housing contract is 'in meltdown'.

But, and should anyone need reminding, this is the same Council that plans to develop Central Lewisham..

Brockley Kate said...

And 3. Why has the council done everything it can to avoid getting BXAG fully involved in the project, when they were the ones which campaigned for it for so long and fundraised for it?
I bet if BXAG were project-managing this (as I believe was originally planned), it would be further on than it is at the moment.

drakefell debaser said...

But, and should anyone need reminding, this is the same Council that plans to develop Central Lewisham..

Good news for the anti- croydonisation brigade then. If it takes the best part of a year to chop a few trees and bushes down, build a ramp and staircase then the redevelopment of Lewisham town centre could well spill over into the next century.

The Cat Man said...

If anyone has any specifc points to raise, please post them here and I will collate the responses.

I have already received a number of comments directly, so please feel free to express your opinion of the project to date (both GOOD and BAD).

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Chinese build the Birds Nest stadium Quicker than this ??

Anonymous said...

They could have got the handrails made at W.P.Stone's, If It was still open.

Monkeyboy said...

I'll seed the bank for five hundred quid.

Brockley Kate said...

No point seeding the bank, because it's going to get totally trampled when everyone uses it as a shortcut from the north end of Coulgate Street to the ramp.

Headhunter said...

The question on my mind is why it took a quote of the compaints policy to get the information? Surely Lewisham Council is supposed to povide information to its paying customers (council tax payers) when they require it rather than just make it awkward for us!

Anonymous said...

'Lewisham Council - controls everything but responsible for nothing' - what a bunch of absolute wasters. They only repond to bad press so lets get a bunch of mothers and school children to hold placards identifying the "public threat" of the shoddy building site and invite the Guardian....if they can make it past E&C.

Anonymous said...

And with comments like the above, I can understand them not wanting to reach out to 'community groups' of well meaning, but bad campaigning, mung bean eaters.

neanderthal d said...

"We are currently seeking estimates for the seeding of the banking."

Jesus wept.

barryls said...

writetothem.com

boxy said...

Well I suppose the works will get done eventually...the stone looks nice, posh sandstone but I reckon it'll be graffitied soon enough.
If there was vision board of the finished project on site, it would cool some of the impatience with this project...Things seem to be done piecemeal, a bit disappointing. Depressing a la Heidi Alexander's assessment of things Brockley related once.

Oli said...

@anonymous 17:11

why so defensive and insulting? Do you really think a) the council/contractors have done a good job so far, b) kept the community informed, and c) that we aren't justified in being pissed off?

Well done Catman for getting at least this much info!

Not that it bodes well fora speedy comletion...

Tamsin said...

The opened out space does look nice coming from the north under the railway bridge. However don't planners ever learn what people really do. No-one is going to go the long way round if they can scramble up the bank - so put steps there.

Danja said...

Isn't that the bit which got sacrificed in favour of the posh materials after the BXAG pressure:

Initially the block paving option was adopted, due to its ready availability and to meet the budget, but as a compromise, and with ever reducing construction time available whilst awaiting the licence, the project was curtailed to incorporate only the ramp, southern steps, circulating area and small section of the performance area but using BXAG-preferred hand-made paving units only, in-lieu of the block paving, which were understood to be available in stock.

Mary said...

What depresses me is that so much effort (well, sort of) is being put into replacing a ramp that already existed, but what the station really needs is a ramp to get down on to the London Bridge platform.

Anonymous said...

We need to get to the bottom of this and require the Project Manager from the Council to resign at least. It is unbelievable that such as small project took so long to be delivered. At least we should have been kept in the loop of what was going on..

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mary - there was already a ramp there from the 1990s whilst the other side remains rampless - that is the real injustice in this story and every trustafarian who campaigned for this and their lovely flower beds should hang their heads in shame.

Brockley Nick said...

This project wasn't about improving access to the station, it was about improving access to the common land which was out of reach and (eventually) creating a nice public space.

Access on the other platform is a problem but the budget for that work will have to come from TfL as the new owners of the station. This is planned - check the articles on this blog for more details.

And I don't think you know what a trustafarian is if you're applying the description to the people who campaigned for this project.

Matt-Z said...

As and when TfL come to fit out Brockley under the Access For All project, their job should be made easier having only one platform to work on, rather than two. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Whilst TfL don't always get it right, I imagine their project management will be better than Lewisham's, and they are good at keeping the public/passengers informed as to work undertaken, what's going on behind hoardings etc.

Anonymous said...

More generalisations about the Council - 'Just goes to prove public bodies are in many cases appalling when it comes to commissioning and contracting'. So it does, proves everything.

More smug attitudes - 'should anyone need reminding, this is the same Council that plans to develop Central Lewisham'.

I'm sure the station will be finished at some point. Stop whining and worrying about it.

Anonymous said...

are you a Council employee or associated with the Council in some way anon 12:14?

mg said...

Does anyone know how badly this has affected the Broca? I know haven't been in as often as usual (am now slapping wrist). Can't imagine it being finished 'at some point' is that comforting to a business that relies on people being able to walk past/in easily.

Spoon said...

Just use Ladywell, Lewisham, St Johns, Honor Oak, New Cross or New Cross Gate instead.........

:-)

and stop moaning

fred vest said...

i think the whole world should:-

'hang its collective head in shame'

September said...

Thinking of the blank ramp walls, could a piece of art be commissioned for them sharpish, before graffiti takes hold? How about a mural by local schools?
It would be good to see the raw new development become a nice opportunity for some more of the community art which Brockley does so well (notwithstanding toy rabbit-gate...!).

Tamsin said...

Art by school-children is great, but public, prominent and permanent display is probably not the right place for it.

Could we look for something like the relatively graffiti-proof walls in the subways of the South Bank by the Waterloo Imax - or would that be just too expensive?

Anonymous said...

getting an estimate for seeding - that is so funny- the weeds are already germinating. Anyone wishing for a non artist imagining of the banks in about a month should visit either the area of West side of Blackheath which was returfed - a wild garden treat or the notorious Myatt Garden Primary School Bank- another eighth wonder of the world of plant/mud versus human feet.

Val said...

Not too long ago about I read here about how much the Executive Director for Regeneration at Lewisham Council was paid - and to a private company in which his wife is also a director.

I was surprised by the amount. It amounted to OVER 200k a year (including VAT). And yet the claim appears to have disappeared from THIS site (?). Was it investigated further and found to be untrue? (Unlikely as it was found in publicly available documents.)

Is it any wonder that there is so little money thrown at the Brockley Station project with these amounts being paid to consultants who are just buffed up council employees on a freebie?

Anonymous said...

That man (and his wife) work very hard for every penny. Why should they hand over nearly 50% in tax to a uncaring bunch like you lot?

Not impressed by Southern Trains said...

Using the station is so unnecessarily difficult at the moment.
Fair enough the steps are closed off, but why force people to use that overly long slope, by closing off the gates?

And why not announce that you are going to do so?

I am seeing people getting of the train going to the gate exit that they've used for years and it's closed. So they have to schlep back to the stairs, funnel through ticket barriers and out onto the long wided slope.

OR if they're feeling a bit adventurous shimmy down the impromptu mud slope that's emerged.

It's just so EXTRA!

Not impressed by Southern Trains said...

And another thing...it's fine to tell people to "move down into the carriage". But what are they going to hold onto once the train starts moving and they're between the sparsely distributed grab circles*? People don't have telescopic arms that they can extend to them.

I have to wonder whether the people that designed the trains took this issue taken into account when they were developing the design concept.


*those yellow circular shapes that are on the edge of the back of each the banks of seats - dunno what else to call them.

Anonymous said...

I hang onto the edges of the baggage shelf thing when I do it. Works just as well.

Disgruntled of Brockley said...

I find it pretty amusing watching people spilling down the earth banks by the ramp because the stairs are still not ready but overall I am unimpressed with the development. We all know it is overdue and over budget but the materials used look really cheap and the design dull. What a bloody (bad) joke at our expense.

Brockley Kate said...

Yes, without putting railings all the way along the ramp, it's clear that people are going to tramp all over those banks. I counted 13 people shortcutting across the earthy bits yesterday when I left the station. It's going to look appalling.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone who thought the design for the front of the station was any good actually commute to work everyday? It is totally absurd - a sentiment that is echoed every night by my fellow passengers as we scrabble down the mud. hy not build some small stairs as the other end of the 'common' as was shown in the original design?

Anonymous said...

'tis a bit daft but once they actually open the steps the off-roading will cease. Remember the rubbish little slalom that was there before the current works.

It is getting a little ridiculous though, would be interesting to know what form of contract is in place? Will be an NEC contract almost certainly, design & build or just build? if build only and the design was flawed it may not be Conway's fault? Some bugger out there will know - could be a scandle second only to Watergate.

RAMPGATE??

Little Bush said...

attractive shrubs with a few prickles

would stop the trampling

Anonymous said...

I just wish they had another set of steps at the Brockley Cross end...
As for seeding the slopes - couldn't they give some cash to those who created the garden area behind the self-service ticket machines? Failing that I'm sure there are guerrilla gardeners aplenty who would relish the opportunity.

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