The Long and Winding Road

... Or rather, ramp. The long and winding ramp up which Brockley's denizens must walk to reach their train station, to be precise.

BC has no new info for you on what is rapidly becoming the sequel to the Wickham Rd wall saga, but we thought it was worth a post anyway to register our continued frustration and disappointment.

This project has been going for months, and has been planned for years. The stairs have been closed for weeks, and activity on site ceased quite some time ago. The project is now in limbo. Meanwhile weeds grow on the station's once-grassy knolls, and commuters tramp across the muddy slope (can you imagine how bad it will be once the autumn rains set in?) to shortcut the ramp. The station staff have recently taken to closing the gate on platform 2, meaning that the only eastside access is via the ramp, causing much frustration at rush hour.

No public communications have been forthcoming from either Lewisham Council or Southern Trains (other than some correspondence with BC regular Catman), both of which are clearly guilty of treating local residents with flagrant disregard.

BC would like to see the council issue a clear timetable for the remainder of the works to be completed, and to set up displays around the site to communicate to local people about the project's aims, progress so far and future schedule.
And then we would like to see the project finished as per the timescale.

Is this too much to ask?

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. I mean what on earth can be taking them so long?

The Cat Man said...

I will 'hopefully' have some more information regarding this by the end of week which I will pass on to Nick.

It is all quite unbelievable.

To put things into perspective, Lewisham Council are also project managing the new taxi rank outside Lewisham Train Station. That is also not finished, and has been going on for well over a year!

Matt-Z said...

Is the South London Press or Mercury at all interested in the story? Or have they got bored with waiting, just like the station's users?

Brockley Kate said...

I believe the SLP may be about to take a close interest in the story ... [psychic detectors on]

Anonymous said...

I noticed that there are some nice looking brasicas ( cabbage) type plants coming up on the slope and a tomato plant so perhaps it is intended to be a community veg garden! As it was first day of school I went in to work at 9 30am. The ticket office was very crowded as people are obviously discouraged by layout from using the two outside ticket machines. Fred Karno's bleeding army as my friend Keith would say!

Anonymous said...

The SLP? As a political issue it's a bit out of their jurisdiction innit?

Pete said...

It's not all bad news - soon the days will be grey and overcast soon so we'll actually be able to see the display screens on the ticket machines.

It's an unbelievable farce though - and still no access for wheelchair users or people with pushchairs who might want to go into Central London.

What was the point of it all?

Lady said...

Let's have a gardening jumble sale. Bring your unwanted plants and seeds, sell them off in aid of the ramp, use all funds to get on with the job, starting with grass to sow in the dirt I fell in tripping over a wire the other day

One box of grass seed 500g will cover 250sq ft, costs £8.99 at first internet hit.

Lewisham might get on with it if we take it in our own hands - causes all sorts of panic about health and safety in my experience.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lewisham council don't like workers and wants to put people off.

Headhunter said...

I rarely use the station but went by it yesterday for the 1st time in what must be a few weeks the only changes I noticed was the increasingly worn track through the dirt and dust as people try to cut the long windy ramp out on their way to the ticket office, trampled and collapsed temporary fencing and gates and weeds sprouting everywhere. All we need now is a bit of grafitti to complete the scene of urban dereliction.

Ashamed of Lewisham. said...

hahaha, it's not funny but you have laugh. What a disgrace. Well done Lewisham council.

Victoria said...

How hard is it to remove the fencing that is blocking the bloody stairs and just use them? The council would have to do soemthing about it then...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps BC could set up an email template on this site so readers could all fire off an enquiry to the council. Maybe an inbox bulging with complaints might spur them into a response.

Lou Baker said...

How many bureaucrats does it take to screw up building a ramp?

I'm not surprised Southern hasn't been able to do it. After all they struggle to run a train service at the best of times - add a ramp in to the equation and you're clearly asking for trouble.

TFL is due to take charge of the station in a couple of weeks. Will they do any better than the Southern/Lewisham botch-job alliance?

Anonymous said...

Lewisham centre just seems to be a constant, road up road down kinda place

Anonymous said...

Lou, Its not a project run by Southern. You really should do your research before firing off random whinges.

Anonymous said...

Why dont people just pull open the blasted fence and use the steps - nobody seems to work there so it would be at least a month before anyone notices. Thats a month of ramp-free access to the station...

Lewisham Council spends all its resources housing people and spends no time encouraging people back to work by giving them easy access to transport. The Councils project of re-roofing all of the Council owned houses in the area has come and gone and they have started installing new double glazing now in some spots - yet they still have not been able to build a ramp and new steps for our station.

What newspaper wouldnt be interested in exposing such a shambles?

Anonymous said...

I doubt there's anyone put off travelling to work by the state of a ramp outside a railway station... I don't think many britons can afford to be that picky?

Cllr Dean Walton said...

I was disappointed to return from my summer break to find that the station ramp works and the like were still not completed.

I have written to the Executive Director for Regeneration this morning and copied this to the Deputy Mayor with a link to this article and asking for a clear timetable for when the project will be finished.

When I get a reply I'll publish it for BC readers.

Cllr Dean Walton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brockley Kate said...

Many thanks Dean!

Sgt. Puzzle said...

The whole sorry saga is an absolute disgrace to Lewisham council and shows their ineptitude and utter disregard to local residents. Bullock and his stooges must be got rid off at the next possible opportunity.

I live on the St. Norbert Road side of the tracks. When the whole thing was closed off but seemingly usable several times I did midnight sorties to cut wire and open the fences on Friday night, so we could have a weekend of usage.

Depending how angry work makes me this week I could be moved to act again...

The Cat Man said...

Dean, would it be possible for you to forward me a copy of your letter pls?

Brockley Kate said...

For anyone interested in complaining, the council's executive director of regeneration is Malcolm Smith - malcolm.smith @lewisham.gov.uk

and the deputy mayor is Heidi Alexander, who can be contacted via this web form:
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/ElectedRepresentatives/Councillors/HeidiAlexander/

Anonymous said...

I rang the council in frustration and got very little in the way of answers. I said there hadn't been sight of a workman in weeks. Apparently the project was only ever intended to improve the gradient of the disabled ramp, which is worthwhile. But there really is no point in doing so if disabled people can't get over to the London-bound platform. Apparently, accoridng to the person I spoke to, improving the footbridge to this platform was never part of the planned project. Lucky disabled people...they can now get to the station for the privilege of buying a ticket, but they can't actually use it to get to London...
So I am now going to call the train company, as the footbridge must be their reponsibility and it is definitely not DDA compliant.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon - it's probably not worth bothering with Southern as they are handing over responsibility for the station to TfL / London Rail in a week or so.

With regards to west-side improvements, I'm planning to ask TfL about their plans as soon as they take control.

Anonymous said...

The ramp to nowhere is not of much use but may have been done with the knowledge that someone else would make the rest of the station DDA compliant. It's all about budgets, imperfect but sometines it's the only way to creep forward. TfL should be able to give a firm yes or no about the station. The new ELL stations have to be compliant, not sure about the others. TfLs medium/longterm spending commitments are in turmoil so not sure whether Brockley will be a casualty

Anonymous said...

The bridge where there was a bridge to nowhere that has a corresponding platform to somewhere that still doesn't have a bridge.

Strange use of public money, still probably done under the pretense of providing a 'nice park'.

Brockley Nick said...

That's right Anon - it was a project designed to make the most of the small bit of common land that was fenced off to the public.

I feel very sorry for the BXAG whose hard work designing the new common is gradually being spoiled by incredibly poor project management and having vital elements - such as steps! - stripped from it. Meanwhile soil has been removed and not replaced and the planting has still not happened, meaning that where there was supposed to be greenery, there is bakjed earth that will become mud as winter draws closer. No one can get up the steps that have been built because of the fencing, which means that everyone is exasperated by having to go up the ramp, which was intended mainly for those with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The issue of access to the west side is separate and will have to be dealt with by TfL, once it takes over. The Council does not own the station. It does own the common.

Tressillian James said...

The window for planting up the dirt is fast closing - grass needs to be sown by mid September for it to stand a chance of seeding and growing before winter. However unless the stepa are opened, people will cut right across any seeded area. Last thing I heard the council was saying it needed to confirm the budget for seeding - it's unimaginable it wasn't thought of before.


Maybe it is just me - but what was a ncie station now looks a terrible mess, and Brockely has just taken another step towards concrete urbanisation. I don;t think the council really do care about a) our well being and 2) street/town furniture and landscaping. To have a pleasant place to live is one request too many.

Anonymous said...

Anyone need a reminder of how nice and green the station used to be look on Google maps street view. Lots of mature trees and meadow like grass, now we have a concrete lump of **** sitting in a barren wasteland that has absolutely no added benefits and has made the area so much worse, it's depressing.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who aren't often down that end, is there any chance someone could upload a picture?

I'm having trouble deciding via people's descriptions whether it's an atrocity on the scale of the Somme or on the scale of Speedicars' sign. Some illustration would help.

Brockley Kate said...

Anon - Will endeavour to get some pics in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping for a street level access to platform one from the west side but that looks like a distant hope now, particularly when you look at the footprint of the new west side development. I doubt there is room for such a corridor now.
As for the east side - it's a disgrace - I also preferred the way it used to look and while the project management has been shoddy - i do think the design should have incorporated a set of steps (or slope) down the other end as well.

Matt-Z said...

According to Network Rail, Brockley is due for full accessibility in Tranche 3 of their Access For All scheme (with delivery between 2012 and 2015).

From http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/4075.aspx: "...An accessible route will be provided from the entrance to, and between, platforms at the stations selected. This will make the station more accessible to everyone, including those people with disabilities..."

We know that they'll be sorting access to the Northbound platform at some point. The question is will TfL step in and sort it out earlier? And will their attempts be better coordinated than Lewisham's?

Anonymous said...

Or how can we persuade them to sort it out earlier? anyone?

Anonymous said...

I work in rail construction and I have to say that the works undertaken were fairly minor and should have been comepleted a long time ago - If I were managing this project I would have been fired by now.

There are often behind the scenes contractual/budget reasons behind these things, or unforseen issues that arise during construction. A distinct lack of information to the public and it would seem to the administration does not help.

Anonymous said...

If such a small project can be muffed up, can you imagine how wrong things could go with the rather more complex Loampit Vale project.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone need a reminder of how nice and green the station used to be look on Google maps street view.Lots of mature trees and meadow like grass"

Yes. And before THAT it was ALL mature trees and shrubs which gave the street a nice, tucked away almost country-like feel. Now it's just a barren, exposed eyesore.

This project has added nothing to Brockley and taken away so much.

A big thumbs down!

Anonymous said...

There were two Conway men removing equipment there at lunch time- this strangely seemed to be detering people from going down the bank.

Brockley Kate said...

Page 6 of today's South London Press has an article about the delays, with critical comments from the Brockley Cross Action Group.

Told you I had psychic powers ...

Anonymous said...

Still no photos of the alleged eyesore?

Why oh why oh why oh why hasn't this appeared yet? Can anyone give a clear timetable for the taking of the picture and its uploading?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I passed through Brockley Station for the first time in a while yesterday and quite agree that the place looks like a right dog's dinner.

Why are the main steps not open? Even if they are not fully complete and have no handrail, they are a lot safer than scrambling up a muddy bank, which everyone seems to be doing at the moment..... :-(

Brockley Kate said...

Sorry, anon - it may not seem like it, but your BC authors do also have a life, you know.

Perhaps you could walk down and have a look for yourself?!

Anonymous said...

Why oh why oh why?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I with Kate on this one Anon. If you are that interested go and look yourself. I did.

Took in the NOW COMPLETED (AT LAST) wall at the Wickham Road/Cranfield Road junction on the way home. Curved 1 brick thick flemish bond - you don't see that very often these days!

Brockley Kate said...

Nice, isn't it? (The Wickham Rd wall)

I was contemplating taking a pic and doing an 'And finally ..' post, but thought it might be stretching readers' patience given the underwhelming level of interest there has been!

Headhunter said...

Do it Kate, that wall has been THE story of summer 09. Don't let Nick put you off.

Brockley Kate said...

Hmmm - I reckon the station cock-up is the story of the summer, really. But the wall people do deserve some credit for doing a good job.

Headhunter said...

Nah, for me it was definitely The Wall, closely followed by the nursery on Manor Ave. Actually can we have a vote for Brockley Story/Event of the Year or something?

Anonymous said...

As non-events go, surely Speedicars sign is up there somewhere.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The reopening of the Talbot in Tyrwhitt Road.

But then I would say that.

Brockley Kate said...

The Speedicars sign wasn't this summer, anon, you dunce!

As for event of the year, perhaps we should wait til Xmas and get Nick to put a poll up on the site ...

Headhunter said...

We could have some kind of ceremony at The Talbot to announce the winner!

graeme said...

talking of walls, the one bounding (is that a word?) the cemetery on the blessed Ivy Road was knocked down and rebuilt/restored with the cleaned-up bricks re-layed in the original bond. Whoever was responsible has done a lovely job.

Headhunter said...

Abutting the cemetery?
Running along the edge of the cemetery?
Making up the perimeter of the cemetery?

Sue said...

@graeme - the contractors did indeed do a lovely job, but it took a year and an awful lot of e-mails from local ward councillors and Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries before it was eventually sorted!

Anonymous said...

Keeping this area nice is just one long fight.

graeme said...

On reflection it did seem to take a long time. I guess it wasn't considered a priority to whoever was bank-rolling the operation; stiffs being stiffs and unlikely to complain and all.

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