Columbus Tower approval signals further Canary Wharf growth


Mayor Johnson has approved plans for another major expansion of the Canary Wharf business district, according to Building.co.uk.

The 63-floor Columbus Tower will include hotel, office, retail and residential space. Although not in the same league as the Riverside South development, currently under construction, it would be another important step forward for the area, increasing Canary Wharf's pull as a business and leisure destination.

It also strengthens the case for proceeding with Crossrail, partly because of the (admittedly tiny amount of) extra funding it will provide but also because it underlines the potential for further expansion of the area.

With major development pipelines at both London Bridge and Canary Wharf, Brockley is well-positioned as London's economic centre of gravity continues to shift east.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting, some of the workers there could come live around here enticed by the ELL. But the reality of the 4 carriages which will be bursting at the seams and delays as a result of sharing the same track as Slovern Services, could many off.

Anonymous said...

This could attract youngish workers and people to this area, what with the ELL but then again, the limited train capacity, 4 carriages and the service, sharing a track with Southern is not going to be fun, plus the user-unfriendliness of the station and its surrounds, might make them change their minds.

M said...

Blimey, you're a bundle of laughs aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Are you funny? I'm not sensing it.

Anonymous said...

There's also the DLR to CW (not just ELL) and it now has 3 carriages.

Admitedly, it gets sardine like if there's anything wrong on the other lines but it is still an alternative.

However, another way into CW would be fantastic!

Anonymous said...

well apparently the ELL is useless so no one will use it? I thought that was the conclusion? or that we don't want bankers living here so thats great too. Honestly never heard such a load of steaming bullshit in all my life.

We're getting much improved service into london, admitedly we're loosing SOME off peak services. It's a net gain for most people, and for £700m it's actually a bargain in rail terms.

M said...

I'm not trying to be funny - I just think you could maybe actually let the ELL open before writing it, and Brockley, off for any newcomers.

Robert said...

One of my favourite views in Brockley is walking down Upper Brockley Road, either to pick my daughter up from school, or for some liquid refreshment at the Wickham - never the two at the same I will hasten to add.

The way that the metropolis of Canary Wharf is framed by the quality tree-lined victorian residential blocks of this street somes up what I love about London architecture.

Hugh said...

What's wrong with bankers? The fact that they earn more than you?

M said...

Try reading it again Hugh. And this time turn off your knee-jerk 'Bankers are grate, money is grate!!' reactor.

Headhunter said...

Hate to break it to you all but bankers have been living in Brockley for many, many years, ever since banks started to move from the City to CW.

OK, the bankers in Brockley are not the bankers everyone loves to hate these days, the ones with 6 or 7 figure bonuses, but many of the thousands of middle and back office staff as well as staff who work in companies which support the finance industry. You know, ordinary people who earn ordinary salaries.

Anonymous said...

The individual that first mentioned bankers was that foulmouthed anon. Who appears to have not so much a chip as a full grown potato on his/her shoulder regarding anyone having a different attitude to the arrival of the ELL than they.

Anonymous said...

It was not so subtle sarcasm. I have no issues with bankers, it's the posters who seem the think that the ELL line will not work, is a disaster, will attract the wrong sort...etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Still not heard a coherent argument as to why 8tph to Canada Water is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

And you'll be waiting a long time, because no one has said it is a bad thing.

M said...

Well, apparently the first Anonymous can see into the future and says it's all going to be a disaster so that's good enough for me.

M said...

The second Anonymous too but I think that's the same person.
Why can't people give themselves names? It's all very confusing on here sometimes.

Anonymous said...

No didn't say it would be a disaster but said ..."But the reality of the 4 carriages which will be bursting at the seams and delays as a result of sharing the same track as Slovern Services"

and of course one or two on other threads would rather have an extra couple of off peak LB trains rather than the ELL. I wouldn't.

Lou Baker said...

It's good news - I like all the building work going on around Canary Wharf. Such a vibrant place.

And skyscrapers rock. They are so much better than Edwardian school buildings, as mentioned elsewhere on this blog.

But I have to disagree with anon 1419.

The East London Line won't give us better links 'to London.' It'll give us fantastic links to Hackney and Croydon but worse links to City and West End which, after all, is where most of us want to go most of the time.

But it will make it marginally easier to get to Canary Wharf, which is one of the few saving graces.

Anonymous said...

@Lou

I was going to say "WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH LOU?"

and then I read the second half of your post.

Phew!

Anonymous said...

Lou, you've really not grasped the concept of
'changing trains' have you. Honestly once
you've Sussed that the whole underground network opens up. I believe that TfL have classes for those with map issues

Headhunter said...

I agree Lou.

I'm not entirely negative about the ELL extension, it's certainly put Brockers on "the map", but it's not really going to help a lot of people. Especially now that they've reduced the number of trains to central London and cancelled our Charing X link. For what? A link to Dalston? Nice as that is, I'm not that excited to be honest.

I moved to Brockley for, among other things, it's great access to central London (direct to London Br, Waterloo and Charing X, without having to fanny about changing trains), not for its links to Dalston and Shoreditch.

Brockley Nick said...

Point of order HH - the cancellation of the Charing X service had nothing to do with the ELL. It was to do with a whole host of issues, including Thameslink and the new High Speed service, which had knock-on effects across the Southern and South Eastern timetables.

In any case, St Johns and New Cross were compensated with much-improved train frequency, which you always conveniently ignore.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is against the ELL. What some people are concerned is the OVERSELL of the ELL. I don't know whether you've noticed there's been this pattern throughout the announcements the service, whereby we hear about a fabulous new aspect of it, get all excited but it's undercut by the reality.

The line was pitched as an orbital service, which many took to mean, bypassing Zone 1 and the premium fare that going there costs. This wasn't some fanciful expectation, the line went to Shoreditch, zone 2. When the reality of the line came through, Shoreditch was closed, a new station was planned 300m away, in Zone 1.

No one is saying that's not useful but that is not what was sold.

Then about service cuts. This line was supposed to enhance our existing rail provision which despite a few blips is pretty good. We were given assurances was addition to what we have, no cuts. But again the reality, was complete and final loss of direct trains to London Bridge, which for some was significant.

Then there's Oyster- a again a huge fanfare about being able to use prepay from train stations, convenience, ease of use except, actually using the service is a nightmare, it's got so many sting in its tail in the shape of penalties its renamed Scorpion.

Someone mentioned that this was a bargain in rail terms. A definition of a bargain, is something that is genuinely useful that you have got for a low price.
4 carriages is low given the no. of stations that the line is serves but lets hope the frequency adequately addresses the demand.

Ed said...

The ELL has already drawn attractive, young professionals to Brockley (including me) and will continue to do so. Can't wait to ride the new tubes.

Anonymous said...

"But again the reality, was complete and final loss of direct trains to London Bridge, which for some was significant" ?!?

My understanding (based on Nick's posts here) is that there are / will continue to be direct trains to London Bridge (although fewer coming home in the evening) due to reasons other than the ELL.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon said: My understanding (based on Nick's posts here) is that there are / will continue to be direct trains to London Bridge (although fewer coming home in the evening) due to reasons other than the ELL.

Yes, the other Anon (please, please choose a name for yourselves - it's not much to ask for the hours I spend doing this bloody website) probably intended to talk about direct service to Charing X and made a typo.

As I said in my response to HH, the loss of Charing X service was a) compensated by increased frequency at Lewisham, Deptford, St Johns and New Cross and b) had nothing to do with the ELL service.

I know the ELL was chucked in as an excuse for why Southern was allowed to reduce (by two evening trains per hour only) the overland service through Brockley but personally, I don't believe this is a technically valid reason.

If they can run 6 overland trains per hour and 8 ELL trains per hour through Brockley in the morning, they can do the same in the evening.

I believe the real issue is overcrowding at London Bridge and the impact of the Thameslink construction at London Bridge.

In which case, even without the ELL, we might have suffered that loss. But yes, there is an argument to say that without the ELL, they wouldn't have been able to get away with a service reduction.

As it is, the 8 tph through Brockley on the ELL, morning and evening, clearly more than compensates for 2 lost tph in the evening. Especially as the trains from LB will be longer, to carry more people.

Matt-Z said...

Further to Nick's last post:

The rebuilding of London Bridge/Thameslink programme means short term pain through reduced capacity issues. Long term, once the works are completed, there will be fewer terminating platforms and fewer services ending a Ldonon Bridge. We are very likely to regain services to Charing Cross, plus new routes through the Thameslink central section and northwards.

pleased at new links said...

yes: I completely agree with Nick.
The centre of London has been moving eastwards for decades now. THe big returns n equity have already been made but the big absolute gains are yet to be, in property terms at least.

(not sure if that read as clearly as I intended - what I meant was that 10 years ago, one could have bought a big house in the Conserv Area for, let's say, 250k. Now it would be upwards of 900k. Fantastic return on equity but "only" a gain of 650k. In the next ten years, the house will increase to a few millions. Not as good a return on equity but a much bigger absolute return. Anyway the 650 would have done me nicely if I had been smart enough 10 years ago!)

Anonymous said...

@Matt-Z

I so so so want to believe that. Is there any published evidence to support it?

Brockley Nick said...

That's what Thameslink is for - to give more capacity through central london via overground. It's a bit like a less good version of Crossrail.

We won't know the timetables for a few years though, presumably.

Headhunter said...

Yes, Nick, true, I can still catch trains from Ch X to New Cross and St Johns, thank god and I still feel the ELL extension is good news, it's just that my enthusiasm has been dulled somewhat by blatant lies from Southern who, just a year or so ago, told us all that there would absolutely be no cut to central London services. It's just been oversold and that annoys me a bit. It feels like we've been fobbed off by central govt who seem to have initiated the cuts to central London services because they assumed we be OK with it with the ELL extension.


"pleased at new links" - £250k for an enormous house in the conservation area 10 years ago? In your dreams! Certainly they were cheaper than they are now but they weren't that cheap in early 2000! My mate bought a relatively large 3 bed terrace in Catford, about 20 odd mins walk from the station in late 99. It was a "do it up" job, needed a lot of work and he got it for £112k which was considered a good deal. £250k in 2000 for one of those huge houses on Wickham, or even a smaller one on Manor Ave of UBR is pure fantasy! Unless it was perhaps falling down. Prices had already gone up by then...

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - could you acknowledge that the ELL had nothing to do with the cancellation of direct services to Charing X please? Just so we can avoid having this argument again in another couple of months?! Ta ;)

Headhunter said...

I'm not convinced that it doesn't have anything to do with it. As you say, there is congestion passing through London Bridge so it's probably easier to terminate Brockley trains at London Bridge and it's easier to make this decision knowing that we've got the ELL extension coming our way. How are you so sure that the 2 things are completely unrelated? I ask genuinely - perhaps I missed something...

Brockley Nick said...

The two issues are entirely separate. The cancellation of Charing X services was explicitly and directly related to overcrowding at London Bridge and the need to make changes due to Thameslink work at London Bridge and the impact of High Speed services, which have had knock-on impact throughout the SE / S network. Read about it. ELL doesn't go anywhere near London Bridge and has no effect on the bottleneck issue.

Do you also remain to be convinced that the earth isn't flat?

petronas said...

That Columbo Tower is not very attractive is it? It looks like a potato peeler.

VAL said...

Dear me. No need to be so rude to Headhunter. Can't you be a little more civil? His input is hugely important, and he does have several poins that should be raised.

Lou Baker said...

@nick

The two are NOT entirely separate at all. The key issue here is a lack of capacity at London Bridge.

The Thameslink project adds capacity through London Bridge but REDUCES the number of trains which can terminate there. That means that as soon as Thameslink got the go ahead they had to look around for terminating services to cut.

That's where we come in. The South London loop line is the one they've decided to axe but, fearing an outcry, what they're actually doing is re-routing it on to the East London Line as part of phase 2 of the project. Some stations lose ALL their direct trains to central London as a result.

Be clear about this Thameslink is not for us. It's been upgraded to provide better links from the shires to the south coast - most of the trains stop at London Bridge and then East Croydon. While Crofton Park/Nunhead trains are now using the Thameslink route through London the crucial point here is that there are no extra trains. The existing ones just carry on for a few more stops.

So these projects really are all linked. One is happening because of the other. And, like it or not, the net result for much of south London is negative overall. It just doesn't say any of this in the PR spin.

But the Columbus Tower is still pretty grand.

Anonymous said...

Lou, your argument seems to be based on the premis that the transport strategy for the entire south of the country should be based in making your life easier. I'm now on a train from LB, I had to sprint to platform 15 (yes there is such a thing) the ELL cannot come Soon enough.

Anonymous said...

jeez dudes, chill out please... Have we all forgotten our collective primary responsibility is to big up this place & send our property values through the roof?!

Tamsin said...

I don't think so - the removal of the Charing Cross service was due to South-Eastern wanting to save money by closing Cannon Street earlier in the evenings (never mind the people using the service then - they can walk in the teeming rain over London Bridge or take buses or taxis) and so getting in with its franchise renewal first and grabbing the Charing Cross slots. Southern also couldn't care less about its passengers - much prefers to service the more distant communters who pay more to come in from the home counties - and accepted the situation even though both companies are fully owned subsidiaries of the multi-national, 43%(?) owned by the French government, Govia.

Time before the cuts were implement was massively wasted by the DoT, Tfl and the franchise companies playing pass the parcel with the blame. There is at last a meeting (an insultingly brief one) with Chris Mole on Tuesday to present it so sign if you haven't yet done so and get others to do so as well petition.

@ whoever it was - Changing trains is fine if you are young, fit and untrammelled. Not such fun for the elderly, the infirm, or those with young children. And never fun in London Bridge late at night.

Anonymous said...

But changing trains at Canada water, picking up the jubilee line, will be far easier than at London bridge.

Headhunter said...

Nick - I'm sure that's the way the spin is spinning and what the marketing departments would have you believe, I remain sceptical in the absence of actual evidence. Of course I'm not saying that the ELL extension is the only influencing factor on the cancellation of Ch X services and the reduction in off peak central London trains, but I'm saying that I'm sure the extreme hype, marketing and effective PR surrounding the ELL made it easier to make the decision to deny us those trains, coz, hey look - you've got the ELL now with direct links to err... Dalston.... Ooh, aah!

Tamsin - I agree that Southern was probably quite happy to go along with TFL and the govt to cut these services and provide better links to high paying commuters buzzing in from Kent. As you say, the buck was effectively passed and the die is cast it seems. Got a letter from Joan Ruddock the other day saying that is that and there is nothing more that can be done.

Lou - As you say, all these projects are linked, I simply don't believe that the ELL was not in some way considered in cutting our central London services. I cannot believe that the 2 things are absolutely, utterly and entirely unrelated.

As I mentioned above, I'm not completely sceptical of the ELL extension, IMO it's welcome, I just don't like the way the various parties involved have spun the whole thing as some major benefit to SE London. It's a benefit if it operates alongside existing services as promised, not instead of them.

I'm just being realistic.

Pete said...

I wouldn't want to be a landlord with an empty 1970's office building somewhere in Farringdon (or similar). With all of the swanky extra capacity being built it's going to be difficult to rent out that kind of space.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - sorry, but it's not good enough simply to say "oh well it's all spin and everything's connected" and since it's impossible to prove a negative, the onus on you to provide evidence for your assertions that they are somehow connected. Lou's theory had all the coherence of a Glenn Beck chalkboard rant, linking US healthcare reform to nazis.

Why would anyone lie about the causality? Do you think TfL or Southern care whether we think it's due to the ELL or Thameslink? The effect is the same to us and it makes no odds to them. To suggest there's some kind of conspiracy is plain silly.

The only reason I care what you think is because I believe in the concept of "objective truth" and can't abide people who say, in effect, "you can prove anything with facts."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Nick, but you seem to have become emotionally involved regarding ELL. I'm surprised at how heavy handed you are being in trying to make people agree to see things your way.
ELL is good, but the hype, heavens above; a countdown timer, almost daily reports.
It is good, tube map, house prices, etc, we get that. But it is scheme that has been bourne of many severe compromises.

Brockley Nick said...

I can assure you I am not emotionally or sexually involved with the East London Line.

As I say, it doesn't really matter whether it was the ELL or Thameslink - the result is that we don't have a train service to Charing X. Personally, I find it a nuisance, but not the end of the world and I have enough of a sense of perspective to say that - compared with much of SE London we have very good train services, with loads of different options for getting to London.

However, it does matter to me that when people engage in debate on this site, they respect the facts.

Headhunter said...

Why shouldn't Southern and especially TFL care what we think of public transport service in our area? TFL is a public body paid for through our taxes and has a duty to care what we think. Bozo's chances of re election may hinge on policies implemented by TFL.

Southern is a private company and will go bust without paying customers and needs to consider what we think. Of course Southern is more likely to worry about what its higher paying customers from outside London think, than people in zone 2 who don't contribute to the bottom line as much.

Of course everyone from the Mayor to TFL is going to hail the ELL extension as a major success, delivered on time at "minimal" cost. They need to consider what Londoners and future passengers think. Of course the project looks like it will be delivered on time and is a success but it's effect on SE London seems to have been blown out of all proportion.

Seeing as only a short time ago it was promised that the ELL extension would be an additional connection for people in SE London and that there would be no cuts to central London services, it's unlikely that TFL, the Mayor etc are now going to draw attention to any decision to reduce central London trains being caused by the ELL extension, it's far easier to bring in new reasone like the high speed link.

Anonymous said...

HH, it's not instead off. For most of the day we get far more connectivity to the big smoke. Are you and Lou going to wilfully refuse to use the ELL? 8tph to Canada water on top of the usual to LB more than makes up for what we're losing, not for all but for most.

Headhunter said...

Lou and I are going to lie on the tracks on the ELL opening day in protest.

As I've said, the ELL extension is great and am not saying it's a disaster. I welcome it. 8tph is fantastic and I guess I will spend a bit more time going out in Shoreditch and Dalston perhaps, I just can't stand the way it was so hyped up and at the same time our access to central London was curtailed after we were promised it wouldn't be...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tamsin said...

@ Headhunter. I think Joan Ruddock has found the train companies so intransigent that she has given up on trying to get them to accept their responsibilities. But let's not give up on it. The Theatre people very much oppose any reduction in Charing Cross services - affecting them and their audiences - and there are some quite high profile potential there. We've had another 70 signatures on-line since this morming and I've just been photocopying well over 50 coffee-stained pages from Browns, the Broca and the like.

Ed said...

Keep up the good, and often funny, work Nick!

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Leaving aside why trains are being reduced , a question for peeps. Would we like the existing LB/Charing X/Victoria service un touched and no ELL? or the mix we'll have in few months? My view is the ELL is a clear gain overall.

Anonymous said...

The mix - by a MILE!

Lou Baker said...

Who do you complain to when the Blog-God compares you to a Nazi?

Anyway ... despite what people seem to think I don't hate the ELL either. Like HeadHunter I think its benefits are ludicrously overstated and the downsides - and there are some - haven't been properly explained to commuters.

For most of us, most of the time, the ELL represents a moderate improvement at best.

And Nick it's not a question of conspiracy theory. It is a simple fact that the ELL extension will make it harder to get to and from London Bridge for most of the day and will not improve journey times to the West End either.

Brockley Nick said...

I didn't compare you to a Nazi, I compared you to Glenn Beck. Watch and enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLs4bcjkwfg

Brockley Nick said...

PS - no it's not a simple fact that the ELL will make it harder to get to and from London Bridge. It's a simple fact that for most of the day, it will make no difference. In the evening, the trains will be less frequent, but also possibly less crowded. And it's highly debatable that that has anything to do with the ELL, though I accept you can make that case.

I find your grumpy rants against the ELL and every destination it serves amusing, I object when you misstate facts.

Lou Baker said...

@nick

There are six trains per hour to London Bridge at the moment. After the ELL opens there will be four.

That makes London Bridge harder to get to. How is that mis-stating a fact?

And I haven't ranted against all the ELL line destinations. Wapping is a gem. I quite like Rotherhithe, Shoreditch HS is great for Brick Lane - and Shadwell has got to the finest place in London to go to get mugged. There are some highlights.

But you've got to accept that Croydon and Dalston are more than a bit grim.

oversell. said...

"Would we like the existing LB/Charing X/Victoria service un touched and no ELL? or the mix we'll have in few months? My view is the ELL is a clear gain overall"


I'd like the ELL but I would the station to go back to how it was, in terms of exiting. I don't like being forced through the ticket office to check my Oyster card, which the ELL seems to have brought about. (If this linking is wrong please correct me...with pertinent facts).

drakefell debaser said...

The oyster is on all overland trains now, ELL linked or not so I dont think you can attribute this inconveneince to the ELL as well. I might be wrong.

The earthquake in Chile on the otherhand...

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou Baker - that is not correct. There will continue to be 6 trains per hour to London Bridge after the ELL service begins, except in the evenings, when, as you say, there will be four.

The trains will be longer.

Because of the capacity on the ELL, it's possible that overland trains will be less full, in spite of the capacity reduction.

Mb said...

Think db is right, all rail in London has oyster. Overall a good thing but the gates are a pain.

Lou Baker said...

@ nick

There will only be 6 trains per hour in the morning peak up until 0930 - it's 4 trains per hour for the rest of the day after that.

The timetable is now available on the nationalrail.co.uk website which demonstrates this. Pick any day after May 23rd to see for yourself.

The trains are not evenly spread either - so, if you just miss one, you could be waiting almost 20 mins for the next London Bridge train.

Remember also that one ELL train = 1/2 a Southern train in peak hour capacity terms.

I think it's likely the London Bridge trains will be even fuller than before.

Brockley Nick said...

Re: relative capacity of the trains

a) are you sure 1 carriage of ELL can hold the same number of people as a Southern train. I don't know whether it's more or fewer people.

b) it will be interesting to see whether trains arrive at Brockely fuller or less full on the ELL. Because the "capacity" of a train at Brockley depends on how many people are already in it. ELL won't have loads of long-distance commuters already aboard by the time it arrives. It will be interesting to see what the implications of this are.

Crofton Parker said...

Does anyone know if the last couple of trains out of London Bridge are affected, especially the final 12.26am one? Would be a blow if it was part of the cull, since the ELL shuts so early...

Nick fan said...

I can assure you I am not emotionally or sexually involved with the East London Line - Nick


mmm, do we believe him people?


Actually I think Nick talks a great deal of sense on the ELL. On the few occasions he doesn't on other matters, his humour keeps me on side.

well obviously said...

"On the few occasions he doesn't on other matters, his humour keeps me on side."

Job description

Public relations (PR) is about managing reputation. This career field aims to gain understanding and support for clients as well as to influence opinion and behaviour.

PR officers use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of organisations ranging from public bodies or services to businesses and voluntary organisations. They communicate key messages, often using third party endorsements, to defined target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its public.

PR officers monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of an organisation's stakeholders. They then report and explain the findings to its management.

Brockley Nick said...

I always get depressed reading that particular definition of the job. We've got so much more to offer.

GSOH isn't mentioned anywhere in that text, by the way.

Neo said...

Nick runs The Matrix, he does you know?

Tamsin said...

I don't think it was ever the ELL extension or direct Charing Cross services. It is just that the new provison of the former is being used as a distraction by those implementing the cuts to the latter. The communters in this part of SE London need both.

oversell. said...

So, do Crofton Park, Ladywell and St Johns station have restricted entry and exits similiar to what has happened at Brockley because they now use Oyster? I know Sydenham and the other stations I've been to on the Overground do.

orly? said...

"The ELL has already drawn attractive, young professionals to Brockley"

I think you'll find attractive young professionals have been moving here for decadeds. Its something to do with the overall good value of the property here of which the existing rail links to central London plays a great part

Anonymous said...

Crofton park doesn't. But I think that's because they can't implement it as it's often unstaffed.

Monkeyboy said...

No, all the gorgeous folk get off at Brockers. From then on things get progressively uglier until you get to guilford which I understand is known as 'troll central' FACT

Van cullo said...

Isn't it terrible when people have different points of view on the internet.

Inspector Blakey said...

"The ELL has already drawn attractive, young professionals to Brockley (including me) and will continue to do so."

Is your bathroom mirror covered in kiss-marks as well?

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