Brockley Cross Breakthrough

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
- President Thomas Whitmore

Today is the first day in the rest of Brockley Cross' life.

Lewisham Council's traffic enforcement team has agreed to give the area special attention, having acknowledged that there are particular problems in the area. This is a welcome breakthrough, which together with planned measures to improve pedestrian access in the area, could transform Brockley Cross in to a civilised spot, if not quite Brockley's most lovely.

Having grumbled intermittently about the number and flagrancy of parking abuses in Brockley Cross, we approached the Council about the problem, to see what had happened in the twelve months since we'd first raised the issue.

Our enquiry was dealt with very quickly and we were passed on to the person at Lewisham Council responsible for traffic enforcement in the area. She explained that they had been aware of public complaints about the area and had asked the contractors to pay special attention to it. However, over the last year, they had visited Brockley Cross 167 times in 2010 and only issued one ticket (although Endwell Road generated many more).

It turns out that the following may have contributed to that result:

- It’s a mobile unit that drives through the area – which means that they’re probably assuming the double-parked cars are actually stuck in traffic

- The contractor is not directly financially incentivised to issue tickets – the contract is based on performance indicators. So complaining to the Council is probably the best way to incentivise them, because regular complaints could harm their chances of having their contract renewed (it’s up for renewal next year)

- Based on the photo evidence we saw, their focus to-date has been the stretch of road right outside the Tea Factory, not the bits where the problems are

So the Council Officer asked the contractor to look again at Brockley Cross, this time focusing on the area next to the shops. This morning, they reported back that “it appears that the location needs to have an increased enforcement presence... We will be increasing the MPU patrols in the area in addition to the Mopeds that patrol and will conduct further spot checks on the site in the next few weeks to see if things have improved.”

Thanks to Lewisham Council for taking the matter seriously - we look forward to seeing the results in the coming weeks.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Saw a penalty notice on a double parked car on coulgate street this morning!

Brockley Nick said...

W00t!

Anonymous said...

This is the only blog I know where penalty notices are a good thing.

Name said...

Context is everything

drakefell debaser (only my mac is clever enough to remember my log in) said...

Finally. They should make a killing over the next few days / weeks as motorists come to terms with the news. *listens hard for the violin, but hears only laughter*

I think 167 visits with 1 ticket issued is a diabolical record. Even if the inspector drives in to an area he or she should be walking around to check all the cars are parked correctly.

Brockley Nick said...

Thank god we're not like those other blogs then anon, they sound rubbish

Oscar said...

Driving around to check on parking infringments? Would sound a bit wrong even to a child.

I think this is a problem with contract work in general - and Glendale suffer from it too. There's a board outside the park at Friendly gardens with a checklist (emptied bins, checked x y z) that they have to sign at least once a day. I've seen Glendale drive up Oscar street, jump out of his car, sign it, and moves on . No checks performed. And its not a one off - occurs regularly.

Headhunter said...

Yeah, that signing thing is a complete joke. They have "toilet checks" like that in pubs. I've seen bar staff come into the most diabolical toilets, sign the "toilet checked" sheet for their entire shift/the next 4 hours or so, and then bu*gger off. Guess what, the loo still smells like Satan's bottom on a bad day, a signed A4 sheet ain't gonna change that.

Anyway, well done Nick for pushing for change on Brockley X!

Lou Baker said...

It is amusing that the lefty-fest that is the Brockley Blog is demanding more law and order.

Next you'll be blaming the Romanians for the state of our pavements.

Brockley Nick said...

a) who said it's a lefty fest
b) left wing politics is only incompatible with law and order if you are not very bright

Monkeyboy said...

Oh I don't know. That notorious socialist Ken Clarke is suggesting that prison dosn't work. The mealy mouthed, sandle wearing vegitarian will be releasing them on the steets to cause mayhem.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on Nick, this place is overbearingly mung

Headhunter said...

I was thinking the same, Nick. Since when did "lefty" = "anarchy"? New Labour, supposedly a left wing party, introduced more legislation than most of its predecessors

Lou Baker said...

a) You're not overly lefty Nick but many of the people who put comments on here do make Trotsky look like a Tory.

b) Hard left politics is very compatible with law and order. But moderate lefties are free spirits - how dare the state dictate where we can park. Peace and love to all car owners and all that.

c) Those who assume right wing politics are incompatible with social responsibility are also pretty dim.

I prefer to mix and match. A foot in both camps. Take the best bits of both. I'd like parking controls but fining people is a bit unnecessary.

Brockley Nick said...

I like mix and match too. But can't have controls without penalties, at least in an area where people massively take the piss.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - yes, SOME people are very left wing on here. SOME people are very right wing on here. SOME people like to do nothing more than make jokes about dogging. We're a broad church.

Recovering from a dogging injury said...

There's nothing funny about dogging.

Brockley Nick said...

QED.

Lou Baker said...

I think fining is unnecessary and, in any case, it doesn't work. People - particularly rich ones - will carry on parking there because they can afford the fines anyway.

Sadly the only way to deter anti-social behaviour is with a good public flogging or some other kind of infliction of physical pain. That'd sort your parking problems out permanently.

Brockley Nick said...

I'll bet you it does work if they do actually do it properly. Not least, because it ain't rich people double-parking in the middle of the road or mounting the pavement.

Double or quits after you lost the ELL-is-rubbish bet.

Lou Baker said...

I said the ELL was a moderate improvement at best. And it is.

Perhaps, having just missed one, you think otherwise while waiting 20 minutes for a late evening train home from Canada Water. If so then please share.

Parking enforcement rarely works as intended - precisely because there is an endless stream of moron drivers ready to break the rules.

If parking enforcement schemes did work parking would never be a problem. But it is. Everywhere. Always.

I seriously doubt traffic wardens will make a significant difference. Unless, of course, they have the power to give any offenders three lashes as well as a fine.

Lou's giving me a migraine said...

Bus lanes remain largely free of unauthorised users, because you could get stung if you user park in them. By your logic they would remain so even with no fines or other penalties? I admire the confident way you make your asertions but they are generally hogwash.

Anonymous said...

Well done Brockley central for pushing this one -167 visits and only 1 ticket issued - this must be a record for a problem area in zone two.
We heard all sorts of rumours of special attention being given to the rather lawless atmosphere around Brockley cross after the shootings earlier this year - not much evidence of this attention so far!

Anonymous said...

Apropos politics, I think that left and right ideologies sort of link up around the back, if you see what I mean.

To put it more clearly, the extremes of each are very similar.

Weird.

PS my husband was an ELL sceptic but is now totally converted. loves it and now boasts about his mega quick journey in.

uppertoff said...

Thankfully, Lewisham council is on our side about Brock X!
Glad there will be a few more patrols around and about. We hope!!!
I did ask in response to the article on "illegal parking" at the cross, if anyone had seen a traffic wardens... not sure if anyone has?!
Few comments posted on that issue last week, it appears some wish to groan about lefties or those to the right rather than input useful constructive info’.
Who cares whether you are left or right of centre?
I am more concerned about walking or driving through the infamous X without hassle. By the way I’m not right of centre just in case Lou has a go!
Let’s please sort out those vans illegally parked at the cross and on UBR! Had to park 30 houses away tonight, yipheee! Not good!
Do we need a petition posted? Or do we just wait and see?
B Nick do confirm- quite a few local mates inc’ me are utterly fed up! A friend has recently taken pics of the van crew on UBR doing business!!!… shame it can’t happen in their own forecourt rather than where we live on UBR and try and park !
Council has to follow this one and lets forget politics for now!

uppertoff said...

ps ELL is bloody great! Spacious lovely less busy! Property prices are affected too not that I'm selling!
Lou please don't have a go! You appear rather pissed off with it all, shame, that OR you have a witty dry sense of humour!!
If it is so yuk... find somewhere else in yummy London town to live... Apologies - I don't mean to offend you. Hope you receive my comments in kind spirit!!

Marc said...

@BrockleyNick "Woot" ? A WoW fan or a gamer are we?

Anonymous said...

No, it's not a dry sense of humour. He really is a cynical, reactionary curmudgeon.

Non Gamer said...

I thought woot meant "want on of those"?

Non Gamer said...

Sorry, I meant "Want ONE of those" but my keyboard disagreed...

Brockley Nick said...

I thought w00t had 'crossed over' and was now a fairly mainstream expression of naff delight.

No, ironically, having children has thus far prevented me from properly indulging my gaming urges, although I have clocked Halo ODST and Mario Kart Wii and have a thriving Pinata garden. (Full disclosure, my agency works for XBox...)

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - I do enjoy your attempts to pour cold water on my appreciation of the ELL.

I enjoy them as I stroll confidently in to Brockley Station in the morning, safe in the knowledge there will be a train along any minute

I enjoy them as I check my oyster card and find I haven't had to pay for both a train and a tube ticket

I enjoy them as I stroll through vibrant but previously hard-to-reach parts of the capital

I enjoy them as I transfer my children effortlessly between lines at Canada Water

And I enjoy them in the evenings as I stay on the tube at London Bridge on my way back to Canada Water, where I've only once had to wait more than 10 mins for a train - which is vastly better than my old record with the trains

I enjoy them when I come to realise that I've barely used the London Bridge service since the ELL opened - which has proved to be even better than a yea-sayer like me anticipated

I do so like Green Eggs and Ham. Try them, try them, Sam-I-Am.

NXG_Resident said...

@ Nick

Totally agree with your assessment of the ELL. I think my favourite addition is the air-conditioned carriages.

What we now need is a night bus that runs from Dalston to West Croydon as getting home from that part of the world after midnight is still a mare.

Anonymous said...

While the Council is sleeping there are TWO ACE VANS parked on the pavement in front of the other vans at the MOT.

On the same side of the road at least 3 cars on yellow line.

If the Council sent someone now it would change the 1/164 statistics
Into
6/165.

I would attach pictures if I could upload them.

Please Council send someone.

uppertoff said...

@ Anonymous re Lou!!!therefore he will not be offended!Cheers!!!
@ Anonymous 2 - great! You spotted the vans while the traffic wardens sip a Latte at Browns I assume!
Nice one
...shame you cannot share the pics... send them off to L council if possible... hope you can.

Lou Baker said...

I don't get offended. I am used to people who're wrong thinking they're right - and insulting me in the process.

Sigh.

Anyway, Nick - you could use your Oyster card, turn up at the station and be sure of a train within 10 minutes and wander round 'vibrant and interesting' (translation: crap) parts of London before the ELL.

Despite your hyperbole it is still only a moderate improvement.

Monkeyboy said...

Lou, yes we could get to those parts of London - which are interesting - before. In the same way that I could get to Bristol before. But now getting there is much easier. Your in a minority, in fact I'm thinking of setting up a quango to give you a step up in life. "The Curmudgeon Transition Commitee"

Danja said...

Violent auto-destruct is ensured by the spelling error in the committee title. Cunning Monkey.

Monkeyboy said...

Good point Danja, I'll set up a spelling quango. It could use one of the offices in the Dept of Justice. They'll have some free in a few months I understand.

Ed said...

Thanks Nick!

Sorting BX is key.

I was nearly run down by cars in both directions on the crossing by the bridge the other day.

Anyone remember the game Frogger? I think they modelled BX on it...

Brockley Nick said...

It's not sorted yet, but please keep an eye out for any action or improvements you notice.

Ed said...

Lots of spray painted markings all up the pavement/road from the crossing to the tyre yard; workmen this morning were electricians with more to follow...

Brockley Nick said...

Is that for the high-speed internet connection work?

Ed said...

Oh, yes please! Even better than new pavement, bollards and crossings? Probably not.

I did mention I was nearly run down in both directions in one crossing didn't I? ;)

Brockley Nick said...

Well we are due to get both of course, but if electricians are involved, I think that the internet upgrade could be more likely.

Ed said...

Fibre optics?

I think the signs suggest three days of work (16-18) so trying not to get too excited. What hope that all the stakeholders would have a concerted plan.

Wasn't there once a Carslberg add where all the utilities dug up the road at the same time?

Monkeyboy said...

I seem to be getting 13Mb at the moment on Malpas rd which is big improvement.

Andy Endwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Endwell said...

I know that this is an old post, but having been up to my ears for the past few weeks I am playing catch-up. I simply cant understand what right thinking person would continually stir up the the council Parling Nazis by continually wittering on about CPZ's and nonsense about parking "hate crimes" supposedly committed around Brockley. The place is fine leave it alone!

Brockley Nick said...

The sort of person who likes to be able to cross the street without endangering their lives because they can't see around double parked traffic.

The sort of person who likes to be able to walk down the road without having to manoeuvre around cars parked on the pavement.

The sort of person who thinks that Brockley Cross is short of being "fine" and indeed could be "better".

In other words, the sort of person who lives there rather than simply drives through it or uses it as a dumping ground for their cars for the day.

fabhat said...

Ed - that crossing has got much worse recently - cars and bikes seem to think it entirely optional whether to stop or not - even if you're on the crossing...

Shouting and evil stares are only having a minimal effect at the moment - I'm tempted to throw waterbombs.

Andy Endwell said...

Firstly Nick let me say that my question was rhetorical, I have lived in Endwell Rd for 12 yrs, I have never seen cars doubled parked anywhere, nor have I been aware of anyone “dumping” their cars, given its proximity to the station, there is always plenty of parking space 24/7.You might be of the opinion that I need the services of an optician, but I can only tell you what I have/have not seen.
As for cars parked on pavements – there are a number of places in the borough where the Parking Nazis have put in CPZ’s where bays are marked out which are half on the pavement, try parking around the Hospital. Again I have not seen double parked cars other than that which occurs as a result of Speedycars in Coulgate St, but it’s hardly endemic.
If you think that I do not care about my local environment, well as you do not know me you are hardly qualified to comment are you! I wonder if you have ever had to endure life in a CPZ, I did for four years and it was an unmitigated nightmare. Like I said beware of stirring up the Parking Nazi’s, you may believe that it will improve our area however you might be less than impressed with the result.

Brockley Nick said...

@Andy - this article is not about CPZs nor about Endwell Road, it's about enforcement of current planning restrictions in Brockley Cross. As the article notes, Endwell Road enforcement has been more rigorous.

lb said...

Who are these Parking Nazis? Do they just need parkensraum?

Andy Endwell said...

Nick my sincere apologies – I had not clocked the Cross in Brockley Cross and thought it was Brockley generally. I should say that Endwell road has no enforcement other than the double yellows at the Vesta Rd end.
The Parking Nazis are the folk who run the “Parking Shop” in Lewisham and parkensraum is precisely what they seek.

Monkeyboy said...

Tell you what, if you'd joined the SS you'd be pissed off at being assigned to parking enforcement rather than getting to drive a Panzer.

Andy Endwell said...

I would have thought that knowing the SS they would be useing the Panzer for parking enforcement by squashing them flat. To quote Antony Beevor "the arrival of the SS in Lodz reduced the crime rate to virtualy nothing in three weeks".

Monkeyboy said...

Not all bad then, I always suspected they had bad PR. Nick, possible clients?

Ed said...

@fabhat; the crossing is genuinely terrible and I also have wondered whether direct action is the only way that this serious safety issue will be addressed effectively.

I am hoping that as part of the pavement works the crossing will be updated so at least it is more visible.

That might go some way towards stopping cars accelerating away from the often jammed roundabouts only to find themselves ontop of pedestrians using the crossing.

ALL NEW NAME AND SHAME SECTION:

The blacked out Audi A3 (DISCO D plates)that races round the bridge bend in the middle of the road most mornings; I saw it nearly hit someone last week.

The Black BMW parked on the pavement most days outside the barbers and associated motorcycles.

The cyclists using narrow pavements, particularly where the kerb is steep on the bend and falling into the road could be fatal.

Now I'm sure some will call ME the nazi, but the rules that prohibit this kind of behaviour have a purpose behind them, one we all claim to care about - Safety.

I will start taking my digital camera out with me and send the council some pictures to see what happens...

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