Brockley Cross: Road layout to stay, work starts Monday

Work to improve Brockley Cross junction will begin on Monday, January 24th and conclude at the end of February. Scheduled work includes some changes to the traffic islands, kerbs, and central islands.

In response to enquiries from Brockley Central, the Council has stressed that the scheduled programme will not include any work to improve the environment, such as paving and tree planting and that these works will follow later, once the response to the public consultation has been considered. But really, if all they wanted to know was where local people wanted them to plant the trees, they should have said so from the start, without the pretence of a serious consultation. The Council says:

The remedial works due to start on 24 January have been designed specifically to reduce the risk of traffic accidents at the Brockley Cross junction. They are not directly related to the recent consultation on “public realm improvements” which are intended purely to enhance the street environment. However, both sets of works will complement each other.


We are currently in the process of analysing the consultation results and where possible the preliminary design to improve the street environment will be modified to reflect the wishes of the local community. We anticipate final proposals will be ready in late March or early April.


It was always a long-shot that the Council would take seriously any alternative to the dreaded double roundabout. They have always been clear that they would not carry out any work that would interfere with traffic flows. Rethinking the junction and the relationship between cars and pedestrians in any significant way was too ambitious. BC is above all else pragmatic and we can accept that - though others will of course disagree.

However, the public response to the consultation overwhelmingly supported widening of pavements and central islands, which would have improved the safety and environment for pedestrians, without having any impact on the speed with which the junction can process cars. Such changes will now be impossible and the Council has obviously not allowed any time for those ideas to be considered, which is extremely poor form on their part.

Hopefully, issues such as the location of the pedestrian crossing and the provision of parking bays are still up for consideration. Otherwise, it was an expensive and time consuming way of finding out what type of paving stones we all like.

In response to the Council's plans, Cllr Johnson said:

"I am absolutely shocked at this. How can the council properly consider residents' concerns if they allow only ten days between the consultation ending and the work starting? Residents, traders and the Brockley Cross Action Group have expressed real concerns that the scheme fails to properly improve pedestrian safety in one of the borough's busiest junctions. The plans need far more work on them to be acceptable but clearly no-one is taking any notice of what residents were saying during the consultation."

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am shocked. The whole process seems to be a waist of time, and the loss of an opportunity to do it right the first time.

Anonymous said...

Terrible news! What can we do about it? Send me in the direction of a campaign...

Anonymous said...

Yes-pls give us some direction to prevent this idiocy!

Brockley Nick said...

BXAG is the organisation that has spent a decade campaigning on this issue. I will be asking them for a response.

Streetfighting Man said...

This is an absolute scandal, what a waste of time. The council clearly had no interest in any residents issues, and have steam rollered their own plans. Unfortunately it will take a couple of pedestrians getting killed for something to happen, which sadly isn't out of the realms of possibility.

Anonymous said...

What happens if somebody gets hurt, takes the council to court, and then it emerges that the council did not prioritize pedestrian safety over traffic needs? We could all be paying a lot for this in future...

Anonymous said...

Hope people dont start complaining about traffic disruption.

Danja said...

Unless my memory misleads me, didn't LBC say from the start that the funding available to them was for some pretty limited purposes (and in particular that there was no funding for a change in the basic format of the junction)?

Michael Portillo said...

This will happen now there is little or no opposition to the Labour Juggernaut

Brockley Nick said...

@Danja - yes, and the article tries to make that clear. But widening the central islands, improving kerb access and widening pavements a little would not mean changing the basic format of the junction.

Paddyom said...

Consultation is such a PR stunt by Councils to make it look like public opinion actually counts. They just end up doing what they want within their budgets in the end anyway and dont seriously base their decisions on what "the people" actually say.

Look at the waste of time and money involved in the planning application, consultation, decision, appeal, second decision etc.... that Greenwich market went through as an example. It went on for years only to get the Council to reject it, and the fruits of all of this time and taxpayers money was then overturned in an eyeblink by a judge. I mean why bother putting these lengthy costly processes in place if they are overturned at the stroke of a pen anyway.

Its completely, in the word of the great Dizee Rascal, Bonkers.

Danja said...

And the consultation document also stated in terms that the roadworks would be carried out soon, and that what was being consulted on is the public realm stuff.

Brockley Nick said...

But leaving aside the question of whether you think it reasonable that after 10 years of local community campaigning for action at this junction, they are not offered any say on its layout, the width of the pavements and size of the pedestrian crossings and the nature of the kerbs surely ARE public realm issues.

TopfloorBXoffice said...

I see Conway have dropped off a couple of truckloads of traffic barriers this afternoon at the Endwell Rd junction. Line painting on Monday it is then! FFS. On a more positive note, there's a team of guys currently spraying lines on the pavement & centre islands measuring & marking in yellow as if they'll actaully be increasing the sizes of the BX /Shardloes centre island at least.

Danja said...

http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2010/01/brockley-cross-facelift-lewisham-sets.html

Crofton Park Ranger said...

It sounds like the council has already confirmed that the consultation was a pointless excercise but to put things further into perspective:

As a building surveyor who often comissions construction works I can inform you that any contractor is legally required to have a health and safety 'planning period' built into to the start of the construcution timescale (see CDM 2007 regulations for more info). It is something that doesn't get skipped as the penalty for management can be imprisonment if there is a serious accident on site and the required hoops hadn't been jumped through.

The regs are a little wooly over exactly how long should be given for H+S planning but an accepted norm is an absolute minimum of 1 week for the very simplest of jobs...

...So that 10 days between consultation and someone instructing the contractors to proceed is actually a maximum of 5 days to review and discuss the public comments, consider any amendments, request any revised designs, obtain revised costings for consideration and then issue revised instructions to the contractor as necessary (which may necessitate a new H+S planning period if the designs have materially changed).

Or to put it another way: The contractor must have been instructed without any consideration of the public comments.

Crofton Park Ranger said...

It sounds like the council has already confirmed that the consultation was a pointless excercise but to put things further into perspective:

As a building surveyor who often comissions construction works I can inform you that any contractor is legally required to have a health and safety 'planning period' built into to the start of the construcution timescale (see CDM 2007 regulations for more info). It is something that doesn't get skipped as the penalty for management can be imprisonment if there is a serious accident on site and the required hoops hadn't been jumped through.

The regs are a little wooly over exactly how long should be given for H+S planning but an accepted norm is an absolute minimum of 1 week for the very simplest of jobs...

...So that 10 days between consultation and someone instructing the contractors to proceed is actually a maximum of 5 days to review and discuss the public comments, consider any amendments, request any revised designs, obtain revised costings for consideration and then issue revised instructions to the contractor as necessary (which may necessitate a new H+S planning period if the designs have materially changed).

Or to put it another way: The contractor must have been instructed without any consideration of the public comments.

Brockley Nick said...

@Danja

Sure, and to quote the article above:

"They have always been clear that they would carry out any work that would interfere with traffic flows. Rethinking the junction and the relationship between cars and pedestrians in any significant way was too ambitious. BC is above all else pragmatic and we can accept that - though others will of course disagree."

Like I say, I wasn't expecting anything radical, but I don't think anything I'm advocating here is radical. An extra foot or two of pavement, an extra few inches of central island, shifting the zebra crossing, etc.

Tell me what I'm advocating that would interfere with traffic flows?

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry: "clear that they would NOT carry out any work that..."

Danja said...

Is any of that (apart from central island enlargements above and beyond the enlargements which are being done now) necessarily ruled out of the public realm works (assuming the funding is sufficient)?

I'm not so much challenging your article, as the tone of some of the comments (inc Cllr Johnson).

Brockley Nick said...

The fact that they are rebuilding the kerbs suggests that both alterations to the kerb schemes and pavement widening are now ruled out.

The fact that they are rebuilding the islands means that there can be no rethink there.

I think this work means that it's also unlikely that they will do anything to address the awful parking bay outside tickle me, which actually makes traffic flow worse and crossing more difficult.

Danja said...

Which kerbs are they altering now?

The consultation doc stated that the work which was imminent was upgrading the roundabouts and their adjoining islands. Islands have kerbs, so do the (new) roundabouts.

Perhaps you know more, or perhaps our spy in the sky could comment on just how much yellow paint has been sprayed where.

Ed said...

DIRECT ACTION:

Concerted pedestrian occupation of the zebra crossing and 'informal crossings' to bring traffic to a standstill temporarily.

Should easily make local news and maybe BBC if some of the media nodes on here get busy...?

BXSpy said...

From the paint markings I can see definite plans to effectively double the size of the centre island on the east bound end of the X junction. This would be a massive improvement in getting across the road here.

In addition I see markings on the north east corner reducing the pavement outside the BX supermarket with the line running all the way into the parking bay.

On our south east side here, I see markings outside Tickle Me squaring off the parking bay.

The workers have gome now. I think that's all they'll be doing.

Brockley Nick said...

I love our eye in the sky, thanks.

Worker said...

Any chance of a cup of tea?

Anonymous said...

Very sickening considering this will will be the last time the council looks at this for about 15 years.
It's a big shit sandwich, and we're all gunna have to take a bite.

Foxberry Mike said...

agree with anonymous at 16.32: 'this will will be the last time the council looks at this for about 15 years'. However if this is the same dream team of Lewisham Council and Conway that brought us the station ramp and steps it may be that the work is still on site in 15 years time and can incorporate some proper improvements for the residents that are paying for the work.

Foxberry Mike said...

Also.....from Nick's article quoting the Council: 'The remedial works due to start on 24 January have been designed specifically to reduce the risk of traffic accidents at the Brockley Cross junction'. In my view traffic lights would achieve that by limiting vehicle movements to set directions at any one time. the pavements could be enlarged as a result and traffic lights would, at the same time, massively improve safety for pedestrians trying to cross here (where drivers are currently looking at other car movements, if they are looking at all). Traffic lights are hardly a revolutionary idea for busy junctions which need to cater for vehicles and pedestrians!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to appeal to the ombudsman?

Scabby dog on a string said...

You could try a Green councillor; an "Ombudsmung" if you will!

Lou Baker said...

Green councillors are as much use as a chocolate teapot.

And there are still dimwits who think traffic lights are the solution. Traffic lights are the cause of most of the problems on London's roads. Alongside school run drivers and morons.

Anyway why is everyone so outraged about the council's actions? It's a council. It's supposed to be rubbish.

It's like all government run organisations - incompetent and bureaucratic.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Lou didn't get any last night........again.

Tim said...

Agree with Lou that traffic lights are not helpful. Creating massive tailbacks does not really help anyone. And looking on the bright side, it is rare that councils act quickly! I don't think this is the end of world and I think a few people need to remember that when there are cars in the world, there will always be some deaths. It is just the price we have to pay for progress beyond the horst and cart.
Don't agree with Lou that councils are supposed to be rubbish, although nearly all are. I will never have an ounce of faith in Lewisham council until they get rid of that stupid magazine they publish - "Lewisham life"?

Anonymous said...

Lou actually said that traffic lights are the source of most of the problems on londons roads. What are " most of the problems" do you want no traffic lights anywhere? Roundsbouts at every junction? No traffi controls? It was a typically bombastic, pointless brain fart.

Tim said...

To be fair, while I wouldn't go as far as Lou, I know that some forward thinking towns have experimented with abolishing traffic lights:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1533248/Is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-traffic-lights.html

Do you think our economically successful and civilised Dutch neighbours were having a "brain fart".

Anonymous said...

No, the Dutch have nailed the balance of car use with more civilised ways of getting around, bikes for example. They have also cornered the worlds bland cheese Market.

Anyway, back to the point. Brockley cross is far from optimal, the crossing by the bridge is dangerous. Traffic lights and roundabouts are all perfectly sensible ways of controling traffic. Lou was simply blurting out noise, all it demonstrates is that he's a triumph of volume over knowledge.

Tim said...

Anonymous, so you say the Dutch have "nailed it", yet refuse to consider any of the solutions they are looking at. Instead, you want to follow the status quo, and put traffic ligthts everywhere. Obviously , if all traffic is stationary, there won't be any accidents, so let's just make all the lights permanently red. That would lead to fewer road deaths, so we should obviously do that, right?

Anonymous said...

No, I just think that appropriate solutions are required. My objection is lou's blanket assertion that traffic lights are the source of "most" road problems in London. Like I say, just noise from our own Glenn Beck. Is that dutch town comparable to London? I really dont know, or does Lou and I venture do you. Are you saying that BX works well? I'd say it does not, I say could be improved. That may be a single roundabout, or lights, or no controls, or some other solution.

Tim said...

I think that BX looks weird, but am not convinced it is actually more dangerous - where are the stats? I think lights are not the answer, but that a single roundabout might be. I like the idea of "informal crossings", keeps things flowing.
So my response to the plans is cautious, but that it is progress. And while I'm not convinced that the council has consulted properly, at least they are spending money and activing decisively. In the current environment, this is a miracle. Would everyone on this forum that is complaining prefer the council spend six months consulting, by which time the money for this is no longer available?

Foxberry Mike said...

I disagree with Tim on his comment: 'Agree with Lou that traffic lights are not helpful. Creating massive tailbacks does not really help anyone.' Firstly having lights would help anyone wanting to cross the road safely (and also disagree with Tim that a few deaths are an acceptable price for avoiding a short delay for car drivers). Traffic lights seem to work well enough elsewhere and I totally fail to see why they are seen as such a disaster in this location.
Open to be persuaded otherwise, but it would need a sensible argument, so not expecting it to come from Lou

Foxberry Mike said...

Tim, ('where are the stats?') - if you look at the map on this site: http://www.road-injuries.info/map.html, you will see that Brockley Cross has more accidents than any other part of Brockley.

Lou Baker said...

@anon

I didn't say all traffic lights are bad and I didn't mention roundabouts at all.

It's a simple fact that most junctions in Greater London do not need traffic lights for most of the day.

If you've ever driven really late at night you'll know what I mean. Empty roads but ridiculously slow journeys because you have to stop - for noone at all.

The issue in London is the volume of traffic lights. On most main roads they're every few hundred yards.
We engineer traffic jams into the network - which is madness.

A much more elegant solution is to have lights that flash amber to all approaches at all but the busiest times.

I'd also like to see at least half the capital's traffic lights scrapped, including most of the pedestrian lights which should be replaced by zebra crossings.

But, to keep our roads safe, speed limits should be lowered to a strictly enforced 20mph.

Children should be made to walk / ride / take public transport to school. There should be financial incentives for car sharing. Delivery lorries should be banned during the rush hour. Smart parking systems should be intoduced. Utility companies should be forced to pay a daily few to dig up roads - and be charged extra for reducing the number of lanes or for installing temporary lights. The amount rising the more major the road and the longer the disruption.

All these steps and more would make London's roads better.

Tim said...

Make it 30mph, and I'll sign up to that manifesto!

Foxberry Mike said...

Lou, if 'Children should be made to walk / ride / take public transport to school', how would you cater for them safely walking or cycling through Brockley Cross?

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

Maybe BX has more reported accidents than anywhere else in Brockley?

Banning the Ocado vans would be a start, and leaving earlier or later to spread the traffic volume.

Anonymous said...

Now you see how much more grown up you sound when you present a reasoned argument? The permit scheme sounds sensible, as does pricing road use better. Single occupancy of a car designed for four or five is not a good or equitable use of space in our city. Public transport would need a boost, of course it would have to cover areas you think are rubbish. Not many kids need to travel to London bridge for school, the road charging will need those dreaded bureaucrats you despise for no apparent reason but overall your sounding a bit green.

Anonymous said...

Abolish all speed limits and traffic lights. Net result = traffic moves as quickly from A to B as it possibly can.

Anonymous said...

Well if London was about just drivers getting from A toB you may have a point, I doubt it would have the effect your after though. The thing is, London is about paedestrians as well so your argument does not really get off the ground does it?

Anonymous said...

Zebra crossings.

Tressilliana said...

Zebra crossings - speaking as a pedestrian, I don't feel super-safe stepping out onto a zebra crossing in case the cars don't stop. And many cyclists don't bother to stop at a zebra either.

Whoever it was said ban Ocado vans - you do realise that if there were fewer of those on the roads each of their journeys would be replaced by several car journeys?

Anonymous said...

Not always. Some people would stop at the co-op or Broc-E-Mart for their mung.

Anonymous said...

if you look at the map on this site: http://www.road-injuries.info/map.html, you will see that Brockley Cross has more accidents than any other part of Brockley.

Al this proves is that it has more traffic. It could actually be safer than lots of other places. You prove nothing with these stats.

Brockley Nick said...

This is painful stuff.

Brockley Dogging Society said...

Remember not all accidents are caused by traffic and can happen on soft ground!

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

Ocado operate from Hatfield in Hertfordshire. Every crate of Peruvian asparagus starts its journey to Brockley in Hatfield.

Ocado claim to save car journeys...well they would wouldn't they.

Brockley Nick said...

You've already admitted you're not interested in facts, you prefer to trust your own 'perception'.

But yes, the good thing about Ocado from a traffic and environmental point of view is that they operate a central hub model, which means each van does a more efficient delivery route than Tesco deliveries, which collect from individual stores.

Both types of home delivery are more efficient to people getting in their own cars and doing individual round trips. also, how do you think the food gets to all those individual stores? Lots of deliveries by big lorries - then lots of collections by individuals in cars. Hopeless.

Still, you can prove anything with facts.

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

I've never said I wasn't interested in 'facts'. I don't automatically assume statistics are 'facts'.

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics" quoted Mark Twain.

How does Ocado's stock get to Hatfield?

Mb said...

"When the facts change, I change my mind" John Maynard Keynes

Anyway this isn't a game of name that quote. A van with a planned delivery circuit will be more efficient than individual cars. Think about it.

By the way, what's the Peruvian asparagus have to do with it? Supermarkets sell the same produce except you have to get in your can that can carry five people at speed to pick up one or two bags. A van can carry more and do it using a planned circuit, one engine that will move several car loads. It won't use several cars worth of petrol.

Facts, the bastards.

Brockley Nick said...

Guardian 2006:

The study argued that the use of "cross docking" (the logistics system used by Ocado, which greatly minimises the need for storage and packaging by using highly computerised systems to manage supply, demand and distribution) led to less energy use and wastage overall, compared with the store-packing system favoured by Tesco.

Times 2007:

Meanwhile, by centralising customer orders to one large distribution centre, Gissing insists that it improves product availability and minimises food waste. He claims that Ocado’s waste is only 0.5% of its sales – the lowest of any fresh-food retailer in the world.

The group says that buying online from a dedicated distribution centre is more environmentally friendly than even walking from home to a local supermarket. This is because supermarkets consume huge amounts of energy because they need to heat the air to make it pleasant for customers while keeping products chilled or frozen in fridges. A distribution centre can be darker and colder because customers don’t visit.

Danja said...

3 incidents in 2009, 5 incidents in 2007, no injuries more than slight and all drivers/passengers - the one exception being a serious pedestrian injury a little way up Shardeloes (where the proposed plan is to put in the ramp and crossing point).

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

Thanks for those 2 PR releases.
Comparing delivery vans which operate everyday on a long preplanned route(?) can't be factually compared with occasional car use which may or may not happen.

But what you're advocating is...get rid of all shops and have every retailer operating from one 'central' hub and delivering via on-line ordering.

Well forgive me for not sharing this dystopian vision of a future that I hope never arrives.

Peruvian asparagus: anyone buying asparagus from the other side of the world needs their ethics examining.

Brockley Nick said...

So official government reports are made up and guardian articles by environmental correspondents are PR releases...

I haven't advocated anything other than that you stop making ridiculous points and ignoring facts.

Brockley Nick said...

and you are the only one who mentioned asparagus. and brought up ocado, apropos of nothing.

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

Sorry I thought it was Enlightenment Dude that bigged up Ocado, which was followed by you enthusiastically agreeing. Different but linked thread.

Unseasonal food from thousands of miles away is to be ridiculed at every opportunity.

Brockley Nick said...

I agreed, on a different thread, several days ago, in response to someone else, that it was a good service. You obviously see a person's choice of grocery supplier as a defining issue, worthy of constant, tedious, reference.

By all means carry on defining yourself and others according to what shops you use, but at least get your facts right.

wendy said...

@boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe young

I can tell you that your name is almost accurate. I am quite old but you're pissing me off too. Please ask the nurse to put you to bed.

wendy said...

@boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe young

I can tell you that your name is almost accurate. I am quite old but you're pissing me off too. Please ask the nurse to put you to bed.

boringoldfartdedicatedtopissingoffthe youngsters said...

The nurse was a victim of the cutbacks, but I'm brow-beaten into submission, nighty-night.

Marc said...

Not looking forward to more road works on my way to work. This particular area is a very important junction into London for people living here. Do they not have a duty to forewarn the public for any road works? I didn't see any notices when I drove through yesterday.

Lets hope its not work for the sake of it and they actually provide what is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Marc, it is about time that you use public transport to go to work

Mb said...

Now I'm a public transport advocate, it's my job. But the self righteous preaching is s bit much. Public transport is not doable for everyone, I suppose traveling by the high horse you use is morally virtueous?

osh said...

but he does say he has to go in to london, which means that he would have public alternatives. and being worried about traffic means he's not travelling at unusual hours of the night when there is no public transport because thtere are no traffic jams either.

so maybe anon has a point?

Marc said...

"Dear Marc, it is about time that you use public transport to go to work"

Hmm, why the assumption that Public transport will serve my purpose or anyone else's for that matter?

I wish I could use Public transport, even better if I could bike in. However unfortunately my office is near a little place called Datchet near the M4. However I do try to work from home when I can.

Foxberry Mike said...

Marc, according to TfL (as shown on this map link) the works will involve closures and temporary lights: http://public.londonworks.gov.uk/roadworks/?x=yy1HVOUxoOkE5jxzPYli-g.
There are three signs shown on the map for the same works as far as I can tell, all with different end dates. Take your pick between 26th Feb and 11th April for completion.

Marc said...

Thanks Mike, will try to make use of that online map.

Anonymous said...

You can't complain, you've all got what you wanted: expensive tinkering with a congested junction. Albeit not exactly what you wanted but hey ho.

Face it, BX is a bit of an armpit, nothings going to change by laying expensive paving slabs or painting fresh white lines.

Brockley Very Cross said...

I am hugely suspicious about how this scheme was put out for public consultation.

What was the tendering process?
Who decides on the winning bid?

Is there no one out there with the requisite skills to investigate this shoddy council?

A less stupid anon said...

We can complain, we didn't get what we wanted. BX could be a lot better. Stop being a silly billy.

D. Healey said...

You didn't get what you want because your wants were unrealistic on every level.

Anonymous said...

Mr H, you clearly have never been involved in anything like this. A key stakeholder often gives a list of wants, the provider then goes away, thinks about it and makes an offering. The fact that it's not what is required is hardly the fault of the people (or one group of people) who requested the change.

I work with people like you all the time, constantly looking for reasons to fail, and dead happy when they find them. The "that'll never work" attitude is alive and well with you I'm glad to see.

Tressilliana said...

For the record, I use Ocado and I don't buy Peruvian asparagus. I buy asparagus only when it's in season in England and I check before I buy that it's English asparagus. I try to do the same for all my fresh stuff where there's an option to get British produce (and yes, I do check to see that it's been produced in the UK, not just packed here). Obviously it doesn't work for bananas, oranges etc and I could probably do a lot more to reduce our food miles. But at least I make some effort.

Also for the record, if I didn't have my supermarket shop delivered, I'd be getting a minicab back from a supermarket. I'm shopping for four and I haven't got time to go to a smaller local shop every day, which is what it would take to keep us supplied.

H. Pekar said...

@anon 15.38, another reliable disappointment?

Anonymous said...

Brockley Nick, I think you missed the point completely...the total environmental impact of most goods from Ocado, Tesco etc towers above locally grown and distributed foods.

Of course, life ain't always that simple...back to roads.

Brockley Nick said...

Well anon, I'm sure that's true, although that's not really feasible.

But that's beside the point. The question was whether online deliveries are more environmentally friendly than supermarkets. In fact, the original point was that they reduce the number of road journeys, rather than increase them.

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!