Brockley Cross: The Return of the Kings

Cyclist: So, uh, what's the worst part about being old, Alvin? 
Alvin Straight: Well, the worst part of being old is rememberin' when you was young 
- The Straight Story

Everything that has a beginning has an end. Work is due to restart on the Brockley Cross improvement project later this month.

You may remember this little scheme, a much-needed construction gig for Conway that involves tidying up one of the ugliest bits of the area by extending a few pavements, putting in some zebra crossings and making 100 yards of Geoffrey Road go one-way.

Work began nearly a year ago, in March 2012 and we watched in fascination as they pootled back and forth for about three months, managing to do about half the work before downing tools so that the Olympics need not be disrupted by their road closures.

The Olympics came and went, leaves fell and they eventually returned in November, determined to finish the job. The work done in this second phase seems mainly to have involved re-doing the work to the mini-roundabout that they'd done previously and installing a few lights we have remained dark ever since. Having made this progress, Christmas intervened and then the snow came. Some of Conway's trademark pavement clutter got parked in the area, but no work was possible.

Now, the Council confirms that the third episode in this epic trilogy is due to begin. They say:

The new illuminated traffic signs and signposts, which will enable one-way working in Geoffrey Road, should be in place by the middle of next week. We will then construct a traffic island at the mouth of Geoffrey Road, where it meets Brockley Cross. That shouldn't take us more than a couple of days. It’ll then be ready for resurfacing to take place. 

We have made provisional arrangements with Conway's to come on site during the third week of February. Once the resurfacing is complete, we will be able to mark-up the new zebra crossing and open it to pedestrians.

26 comments:

guest said...

What's the plan for trees on BX? The last I heard was they couldn't be planted because of cables beneath the ground. Is there another plan to green the area?

Chrisjbedson said...

Next time you walk through Brockley Cross, stand back and look at the actual space there and imagine what it could be - a piazza, open space, bike paths, a haven for pedestrians. It's a shining beacon of how the motor car and our councils obsession with providing space for it destroys our physical environment. A few zebras and a traffic island won't make a jot of difference.

Michael said...

I don't understand what the red paving is there for. It looks like it might be something to assist the partially sighted with finding a way across the Cross. But in the middle of the road it infills the level section, which otherwise might've been accessible for wheelchairs, prams and other wheeled devices,  and isn't flush with the rest of the paving. 

Rather like the extra, not level, new paving on Brockley Road outside the shops. 

Did they happen to have it lying around and decide it was in their way?

Monkeyboy said...

And I thought the Tolkien films were long and tedious. To be fair I think the red paving is for level zebras eventually? But yes, a poor effort overall.

Paul Astles said...

I live on Geoffrey Road and think it should be one way all the way up. The volume of traffic on there has become unbearable and most motorists seem to treat it as their own private motorway. As a cyclist I've been road raged going through the width restriction, forced onto the pavement for my own safety. When I objected I was threatened, spat at and the car zoomed off. I actually think a few well placed mines might be a good idea.

MalpasSimon said...

Thank God, finally. It really has taken a stupid amount of time. As far as I remember there was actually less traffic using Brockley Cross during the Olympics. It'll be great to finally have priority over the cars whilst trying to get to the station without getting run down by sleepy car drivers desperately trying to launch themselves into the next meter gap in traffic.

Lwhitter said...

Seems to me that this is yet another example of Lewisham Council and Conway needing to 'use up' budget on unnecessary road tinkering which will result in nothing of benefit for anyone - even car owners. Some nice trees and better pedestrian areas are what is needed, and better provision for cyclists.  

Brockley Nick said...

But that's pretty much exactly what this project is?!

Better pedestrian areas are what we're getting and there supposed to be more trees and new cycle racks.

Kin said...

You're right, for such a narrow road, it's amazing how many drivers try to squeeze past me when I'm on a bicycle.

We need to start "Hackney-izing" our streets.

Notaparetoimprovement said...

I'm not convinced that the one-way change on Geoffrey Road will be a good thing. Unless it reduces traffic volume, then the issues mentioned on here before about cars will just be transferred to the end of UBR. There are no plans to introduce a pedestrian crossing on that stretch.

Full disclosure: I'm a UBR resident. But this isn't NIMBYISM. I just don't see that there will be a net benefit to the area, just displacement. It doesn't fill me with confidence that the one-way change was not part of the original plans for BX but came later on.

Brockley Nick said...

It's not been done for traffic management reasons. It's to do with the new pedestrian crossings at BX. They didn't want traffic turning directly on to them, so they made GR one-way.

Notaparetoimprovement said...

Sure: I appreciate the reasons for it.
A pedestrian crossing on Geoffrey Road is an improvement. But the transfer of traffic to UBR makes crossing that stretch of road worse. Less traffic on the stretch of GR will be a benefit to residents there, more on UBR a disbenefit to those. Better traffic flow through the one way on GR (effectively a single lane with parked cars at the moment), worse on UBR with the two turns.

I think the two are likely to balance out, meaning no net benefit. Very much hope to be proved wrong.

Brockleyman said...

Conway! The same contractors who did the work at Brockkey station. Look how long that took! Now a simple new road lay out seems to be taking for ever.

Guest1 said...

If it is Lewisham Council telling you the work will be finished...

this area is forgotten. The Council vote in exchange of benefits strategy makes delivering project a redundant exercise for them.

 

Brockleylion said...

If anywhere deserves a one way stretch its harefield road not Geoffrey rd from Brockley road to wickham road going up the hill with either Cranfield rd or wickham road/Brockley road to access he railway station by car.

Paul Astles said...

I'm sure there are lots of places that need a reduction but Geoffrey Road has an insane amount of traffic. It needs culling.

Brockleylion said...

Think would kill for a width restriction barrier would stop buses blocking road every 15-20 mins I love rush hour all the buses get stuck on vicars hill and in lewisham,if made one way at least traffic would keep moving.All the budget for Brockley seems to have gone on Brockley x and it doesn't look any different to me best bit maybe new trees,how much does that have to cost.

Kin said...

Amen!

This is exactly what I keep banging on about. Even with the changes, it's going to be a completely car-dominated space.

Unfortunately, we have a council with a complete lack of vision and/or ambition when it comes to re-designing our urban environment.

Brockley Nick said...

The Council can't unilaterally shut down one of the main road interchanges in the area, even if it wants to. It's ridiculous to complain about the fact that Lewisham has main roads in it. All they / we can do is try to make the space more civilised. This is an important step in the right direction.

Brockley Nick said...

"All the budget for Brockley seems to have gone on Brockley x"

On what evidence do you say that. Or have you just made it up?

"and it doesn't look any different to me"

A) have a look at the old photos of Brockley Cross on this site - it's already a lot better
b) It's not finished yet - that's the point of the article

Brockleylion said...

Yep made it up and it looks no different to me I just notice things as I live in the area don't really push bits of paper about.

1,if the budget is going to other bits of Brockley I can't see much evidence of it,that's all,perhaps if the budget has to be spent by march 31st before the next tranch kicks in we might see improvement.

2,and sorry opinion it doesn't look any different to me

anonymous said...

 Is there space for that woman with the pram...

Brockleylion said...

I remember some twenty years ago talk of a fly over linking Brockley rd and shardeloes rd whist Malpas Geoffrey and endwell rds ran off of a single roundabout now that would have made a difference to the look of Brockley x.

Kin said...

I didn't say it should shut it down. And I didn't mention Lewisham having main roads either.

Anon. said...

Have the warks came to a halt again?  What can be done in order to see this small but key renovation completed in less than 2 years? One year is gone already...

Brockleyman said...

Its Conway. What do u expect. My council tax has paid for the work to been done and its still not completed!

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