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."