Brockley Cross facelift - Lewisham sets expectations

When we heard that the Council had committed to make improvements to Brockley Cross, we sent Cllr Alexander a few questions, to try to clarify exactly what we can realistically expect from the work. She followed this request up with Malcom Smith, Executive Director for Regeneration.

Now, ahead of the local consultation meeting on January 25th, we've received this response - for which we're very grateful.

The letter makes clear that we should not expect anything radical in the short-term. Although this is hardly a surprise, it's a shame that the scope of work is quite so limited and part of the challenge will be to persuade the Council to commit to a time frame for the more significant changes, which the letter acknowledges are a longer-term objective. It should also allay the fears expressed here that work could have an impact on other nearby roads, including those in Telegraph Hill.

We asked whether the 4 options developed with the Brockley Cross Action Group would be considered and the letter makes clear that these options may be considered in the future, but not now. That will be a familiar story to BXAG members but at least the Council has not thrown those ideas out.

The list of improvements that we can look forward to seems sensible and should address the most pressing concerns, which are safety and the quality of pavements and crossings for pedestrians. We asked specifically whether the Council would look at options to reduce the amount of traffic using Geoffrey Road (and hence Wickham Road) as a rat run, because that has been a long-standing issue for residents and - as you can see from the response - the Council will not take any action on that issue if it has any knock-on consequences.

Here's the response:

The project at Brockley Cross planned for 2011/12 will primarily be an accident reduction scheme where it is also hoped to carry out minor public realm improvements at and within the immediate vicinity of the double roundabout. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to consider the wider Brockley Cross area within the scope of this particular project. However, it is hoped that development of a wider Brockley Cross scheme can commence within the next couple of years, however this will be subject to the identification of suitable funding opportunities.

It is hoped that this project will provide the following; accident reduction (may include traffic calming measures to reduce speeds), improved public (particularly pedestrian) realm, improved crossing facilities and reduced clutter (guardrail). It should be noted that some of these objectives may be constrained by the existing road layout and need to maintain traffic flows and to not increase congestion. Any proposed changes and associated works will need to be carried out within any available funding and physical constraints etc.


A proposal to "stop up" Geoffrey Road to through traffic would probably need to be part of a larger study of general traffic flows through the area and therefore a separate project. The detailed communication plan for any project in this area would need to reflect the scope of the project and its likely effects on the local community. BXAG would certainly be included in this consultation. With regards to the Brockley Cross options developed in 2005, these may be considered, however the scope of the project will need to be commensurate with the level of finance available.

31 comments:

My tuppence worth said...

There's a lot of restrictions and qualifications in this, all seeming to centre on the lack of resources.

If changes are going to be made, they have to be an improvement.

I'm not sure doing things piecemeal as a result of insufficient funds, works. I think of the Brockley Common project. We have these grand looking sandstone steps that lead into a portacabin station.

Sometimes it's better to wait, to do things right, properly in one go.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that there's no ramp on the other, more useful side, and that there was already a ramp on the existing side anyway. D'oh indeed.

patrick1971 said...

And personally I really don't like the "it mustn't increase congestion" argument. The streets belong to PEOPLE, not to cars. Driving SHOULD be made as unpleasant as possible in London. We all know that building more roads increases traffic; closing roads needs to be done to decrease it.

Tamsin said...

Yes, but again not piece-meal or the problems just get shunted elsewhere. One needs something radical and universal like a massive hike in petrol duty or extension of the congestion charge area.

(Reminder to self - on Monday I incurred my second charge since the scheme came in - I must go and pay it now!)

Headhunter said...

Unfortunately BoZo has limited the extent of the congestion charge and the LEZ and passed the cost of unrealised revenue from these sources (which would have come from Chelsea tractor driving, mwah-mwah-ing mothers in West London) to poor sods travelling by bus in SE London, hence the 20% hike in cost of an Oyster bus journey. Thanks Boris. Who voted for that tw@t again?

Anonymous said...

You want speedbumps???!!!
You got 'em!!!!

Er..and that's all you get...

God bless Lewisham traffic planning.

brockleybiker said...

"Driving SHOULD be made as unpleasant as possible in London. We all know that building more roads increases traffic; closing roads needs to be done to decrease it"

That's a stupid attitude. Cars are as much a feature of our transport network as everything else. I am not saying I agree with the car biased approach, certainly the last forty years have shown that to be a faliure (Beeching etc.). But your outwardly hostile attiude is just ridiculous and offensive.

Carmad said...

I certainly hope they don't 'stop up' Geoffrey Road without a vote. How are we going to access the adjoining roads? Bulldoze the house on Geoffrey, ann make the road wider - simple. Works for me.wy

angelofthewest said...

Please please PLEASE can the project include extra pidgeon-proofing under the rail bridge?! I don't know how many years i've been trudging through pidgeon muck, along with countless of you, no doubt, to get to the station --- all for want of a few more of those spikey things across the top of the billboard...... Now _that's_ not too much to ask, is it?

Headhunter said...

I don't think any proposal would "stop up" Geoffrey Rd completely but traffic is not "supposed" to go that way.

The lay out of the road coming off Brockley X is designed to encourage traffic to head down Malpas Rd which is wider, straighter and able to take more traffic. Geoffrey Rd is narrower and has the barricade bit in the middle as well as residents' cars parked along each side, yet somehow it has become a rat run for people trying to get to Lewisham Way.

In fact it seems to have more traffic than Malpas which was supposed to take this traffic. It certainly needs a rethink.

Ed said...

We'll get a cosmetic makeover (speed bumps and a paint job) with no real improvement for local people you just watch. Five years since the options study and no commitment to do anything worthwhile with the gateway to Brockley.

Tamsin said...

If driving I regularly use both Malpas and Geoffrey (Malpas if I am then going down Tanners Hill and points east, Geoffrey if going south to Lewisham).

Malpas can get quite jammed up if you have two vans going in opposite directions and it is a longer stretch of narrow than Geoffrey which quite quickly debouches you onto the nice wide Wickham.

If Geoffrey were blocked off or made less vehicle friendly I can see the Cranfield Road residents being dead chuffed - although maybe it would not make a significant difference. In one direction, once on Wickham in car you would stay there to get the advantage of lights where you join into Brockley Road and in the other you would probably do what you are meant to do and go up Malpas.

drakefell debaser said...

It is a shame they made such a balls up of the common because that is now the measure for any new attempt they make at improving Brockley. I too would prefer the council figure out how they are going to pay for the wider scheme first and give us some proper time scales as to when it will be done. The sooner they stop shying away from committing themselves to the project the quicker it will be done.

There is no need for more speed humps because general confusion at the roundabouts slows you down and I think it is confusion that causes the accidents. Instead, I would prefer to see any traffic calming cash spent on fixing the pavement outside the Tea Factory and putting in pedestrian crossings on Mantle Rd, Shardeloes Rd and Malpas Rd. There is not a lot of guardrail around here so that should be relatively easy to take away and if they have anything spare they might also straighten the bent sign in the middle of the roundabout.

Brockley Nick said...

I share a lot of sympathy with the idea that we should just leave it until we can afford to do it all properly. However, the counter argument is that that could be many years and in the mean time, we risk more deaths and injuries.

@Tamsin - if Geoffrey Road were made one-way, it wouldn't affect Cranfield, people would either drive up Malpas like they're supposed to or they could use Vulcan Road (which has very few homes facing on to it) to get in to the conservation area. Anyone going to Lewisham should be using Malpas, which is the area's main road.

Anonymous said...

if a road is there, it is supposed to be used.

Tamsin said...

Yes, I did back-track at the end of the sentence. And also was thinking about the suggestion that Geoffrey Road be closed off entirely.

My immediate reaction was Cranfield because that is what I go down if there are problems on Geoffrey, but I then thought things through and realised it would not be a big issue.

Encourage use of Vulcan by all means - as long as the blocked off access to Shardeloes is not re-opened. It was closed (before my time, but Cllr. Nick Taylor will talk on it at length) for very good reason.

Anonymous said...

Mantle road is getting a new zebra crossing.

Ed said...

I've lost count of the number of times I have nearly been run over on the zebra crossing near the bridge. Drivers accelerate away from the confusion of the roundabout and don't seem to want to stop.

Also who do you report pavement parking to? There a BMW that has its own personal space on the pavement nect to the barbers shops.

Brockley Nick said...

Don't get me started on that car! Also, one parked up outside the defunct holistic centre sometimes.

I can't believe the hawkeyed traffic wardens we've been promised will patrol the area have continually missed them ;)

Headhunter said...

Yep, I agree, that BMW parked on the pavement nexto the barbers is always there

Ed said...

Can we get as priority poll of changes to BX we'd like to see that can be ranked by BCers? Could include paint and anti-bird(?) the bridge, plant new tress at BX, pedestrianise part of BX as per option... you get the idea.

Brockley Nick said...

Good idea - any other nominations for options on the poll?

Headhunter said...

Get rid of that odd bit of road that people always dump their cars on at the bottom of Geoffrey Rd outside that little stretch of shops. As previously suggested here, can't it be pedestrianised and planted up or something? We could even have a couple of benches there or something. Anythnig's better than the random car park that's there now.

trekkie said...

Just to lighten the tone a bit, I've always thought that Vulcan Road is the coolest sounding name around these here parts.

Dr Spock said...

Vulcans are a humanoid species in the fictional Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. ..(taken from wikipedia)

We can learn from the outbursts of their residents that they clearly don't live on Vulcan Rd

trekkie said...

Absolutely. But as you know Dr Spock was a famous paediatrician whose guidelines defined my early life, and as a result, I'm now a lonely Friday evening blogger. Mr Spock, on the other hand was a logician of schizoid, perhaps almost autistic proportions, whose contributions to intergalactic mental processes are still discussed at The Academy.

Live Long Friend

Hugh said...

Could someone summarise? Can't be ars*d to read this thread. Chiz.

Anonymous said...

You be asrde.

Headhunter said...

Hugh, you're getting lazy! Taking the train to work, not being bothered to read a thread properly..... Next think you know you'll be an old bloke with a paunch, watching telly all day long, lifting himself only briefly from the sofa to break wind. Break the cycle before it's too late!

Tamsin said...

I think of Vulcan as the rather squat and sinewy smith of the gods (although somehow he wangled it to marry Venus) rather than Spock. Slightly less cool.

My sister's comment on Spock was that he must have picked up a PhD from somewhere and so would have been Doctor Spock anyway - except for the way that all officers were addressed "Mr" as if the Enterprise were an 18thC warship.

Carmel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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