Council plans improvements to 'Brockley Corridor'

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation about their plans to improve the "Brockley Corridor" - a long stretch of road from Brockley Cross to Stansted Road in Honor Oak. They say:

We have secured funding from Transport for London through the Local Improvement Plan to develop proposals for improving the public realm along various sections of the ‘Brockley Corridor’ - the main north-south route between the South Circular and Brockley Cross. We are now consulting with local stakeholders in order to gain a better understanding of issues within the Corridor and potential for improvements, in order to inform more detailed designs.

Putting aside the fact that the Council shares our vision of a Greater Brockley, in which all points in the borough are defined in terms of their relationship to Brockley, this is a welcome plan, which will give greater priority to cyclists and pedestrians, narrowing the road and calming traffic as it travels through high street areas.

The proposed changes include improvements at key locations along the route, to make junctions easier to navigate and the high streets more attractive, with wider pavements, more trees and fewer barriers. Particularly good is the plan to remodel the "St Andrew's Parade" junction (where Wickham Road meets Brockley Road), which is horrible to cross and the only people who want to stop and linger are motorists, who have a tendency to park their cars up on the middle of the pavement. As the Council put it, this is currently a "cluttered highway and an unpleasant public realm."
The scheme also proposes to create a "sense of arrival" as you exit Crofton Park Station towards the Rivoli (just getting to Crofton Park Station after a snaky journey from Blackfriars creates the sense of occasion they may be looking to achieve) and to create a public space outside the Chandos.

The plans could be accused of being too modest in their ambition, but we'd rather the Council do a few things really well - with high quality materials, attention to detail and close supervision of the contractors - than bite off more than they can chew and do it all in a half-arsed fashion. It's notable that none of the 'Exemplar Schemes' listed in the document is from Lewisham - please let this be a turning point for Lewisham road improvements and an exemplar for all future schemes.

With thanks to Monkeyboy.

45 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

Just completed the survey, it's fairly rubbish (the survey, not the scheme). Will our new councilors be pro-active in scrutinising these and gleening opinion from their constituents?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, these consultations are always a little silly: Do you want safer, nicer roads? Or would you prefer the current crap?


I suppose the one issue that the consultation will help address is the question of how much priority should be given to high street parking provision (not much, in my view) vs other uses.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, these consultations are always a little silly: Do you want safer, nicer roads? Or would you prefer the current crap?

I suppose the one issue that the consultation will help address is the question of how much priority should be given to high street parking provision (not much, in my view) vs other uses

Corin Ashwell said...

This is an unbelievably awful potential waste of money. Widening footpaths and creating more car-parking and planting more street trees, instead of using the money to implement proper traffic reduction and calming together with genuinely progressive improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. This is as bad as the Ladywell Village refurbishment. I just hope Lewisham Cyclists and Living Streets can respond to the consultation with forceful and constructive criticism to de-rail this monstrosity before it's started.

Monkeyboy said...

yep the one box i did tick with certainty is that parking is a low priority, bussinesses my take a different view but do many on that stretch have big customer base that relies on cars to use them. I guess not.


Also asked for better waste provision for businesses, i dont have an ideological hate for takeaways but they need a better strategy for waste removal. It's like a UN feeding station for refugee foxes at the moment, even with the excellent street cleaner at Brockly Cross scooping up the detritus first thing in the morning.

Corin Ashwell said...

I agree, reducing the volume of motor traffic that is simply passing through along this road, as on a number of others in the borough, seems to be the problem. Maybe the best thing to do is to identify one or two routes that are designated through-roads and then heavily penalise through-road users of other routes?

Monkeyboy said...

its been put together by a bunch of consultants unter instruction from Lewisham presumably.

background and funding here... about £3m for lewisham as a whole it would appear for 14/15, not sure if funding can roll over or if that relates to this.

https://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/lip-guidance-2013-14.pdf

its a TfL route so they wont agree to make it a nightmare for car users, agree about the parking but are they proposing an increase?

often with external funding you have to accept that you dont get to define exactly what you want, is this better than nothing?

Monkeyboy said...

Ladywell was poorly implemented but is it an unmitigated disaster design wise? i'm only an occasional visitor but seems 'salright.

Corin Ashwell said...

Maybe "unmitigated disaster" is a bit strong, but it is barely an improvement on what was there, and yet militates against the council conducting any proper improvements for years to come. The main problem is that nothing has been done to reduce the volume of motor traffic along Ladywell Road. The second problem is that very little has been done to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over motor vehicles. I rarely drive through Ladywell Village but I go there on foot or by bike every day and I still feel I'm at the mercy of drivers squeezing two cars through the junction of Chudleigh Road and Ladywell Road at the same time, clipping kerbs and mounting the pavement, and I have to dodge parked cars and clutter as well as breathe metallic-tasting air down there. The shared-use bit of pavement for both cycles and pedestrians I use when I'm on my bike with child on back and that is an improvement, but the access to that from Malyons Road requires a dangerous cut across the traffic stream, and in any case shared-use often leads to some testiness from pedestrians, and conversely cyclists riding too fast. Yeah, I'm pretty much glass-nearly-empty about the Ladywell Village scheme!

Monkeyboy said...

OK, thats a view but can Lewisham decide to reduce traffic flow in that area or Brockley? i'm fairly sure they are not empowered to make that decision. its a TfL route. If they were able to reduce traffic they would not get the funding, first point being the most important. if im right then the debate becomes a little academic.

Corin Ashwell said...

Ladywell Road isn't a TfL route, as far as I know. I can't find any information about whether Brockely Road/Rise/StondonPark is a TfL controlled road. In any case, the local councils and TfL need to work together to get things done. They are both - in theory - subject to democratic control - so the debate is worth having out in the community to decide what kind of roads exactly we want, and then how we might go about getting them.

tester said...

"so the debate is worth having out in the community"


that's what the consultation is designed to do, from the Councils viewpoint of course, and residents are not at the top of their list of priorities. For example, this scheme could more be about attracting (more) developers to the area - knocking down 'unsightly' buildings and putting up more 'unsightly' buildings in their place. Slightly longer term view that.
The Ladywell thing may have (debatably) improved the area and there is a least one new development going up right now and one planned (both by the right hand side of the bridge). Whether you think these new developments are an improvement is a matter of opinion, and they may have happened regardless, but the fact is that improving an area makes it more tempting for developers.

Monkeyboy said...

No, it cant be about 'knocking down buildings' the funding is related to a specific set of requiremetns. Anything else will not be funded, need to focus arguments on things that can acvtually be influenced. It's not Lewishams money, its a portion of funding for london as a whole allocated by TfL for their purposes.

Chris Barnham said...

Speaking as one of the three Crofton Park councillors, I can assure you we are very keen to hear people's views. I would urge everyone with an interest to express their opinion by the survey, and to let us know what they think. There has already been some early discussion at the last Crofton Park assembly meeting, where consultants presenetd the early plans and took questions, but obviously we want as much input and scrutiny as possible.

Monkeyboy said...

actually I think you're right. A roads are generally TfL routes. Having said that I think the funding is dependant on not messing with bus routes and the mayor is pandering to the car lobby. There has been a democratic process, it delivered Boris who is responsible for this funding. the boot is on TfLs foot.



Not saying dont seek to influence it but in the words of some bloke "politics is the art of the possible", the funding can be turned down if the scheme does not satisfy the remit.

Brockley Nick said...

If we were going to take that approach, then surely Brockley Road would be one of those main routes? It's always going to be a busy route, it's a key road. It's only very busy at rush hour in any case - and what's wrong with improving the road? Traffic volume is not the only issue.

Lep Recorn said...

When asked about additional comments I suggested :

do **NOT** give the job to Conway unless there are exacting penalties for overruns and snags.



(but not holding my breath!)

Corin Ashwell said...

Fair enough, I just personally would prefer to be able to walk and cycle down those roads with a child on the back of my bike and breathing relatively clean air. As it stands, leaving aside the air ollution issue, I can use the "Brockley Corridor" fine on my bike if it's just me, because I cycle at an average of over 20mph and can maintain 30 pretty much if I need to. The change I would like to see is to make that "corridor" a road that anyone can cycle along, or walk along or over, without having to have their wits about them and be athletically fit. At the moment, there is no way I'd cycle down there with a child on a bike, and I avoid walking down there either accompanied or by myself. So yes, improve the road, but do it by transforming it, I say, rather than tinkering with it.

Corin Ashwell said...

Do you know of a resource online to check which roads are TfLs responsibility? I've had trouble finding one, but then my Google-fu is not strong.

Corin Ashwell said...

Councillor Barnham, can you say what the division of responsibility between TfL and Lewisham council is on the "Brockley Corridor"?

Monkeyboy said...

There used to be one on my work intranet. It's evaporated, will check later.

Damian said...

I think it'll be a welcome change. So long as there's new trees and furniture, not just new kerbs and a crossing. Only major concern is proposal for artwork on crofton park bridge. When councils and computers get together on this sort of thing the result is usually terrible

Mark Gowen said...

Are these the same proposals that were on display at the Crofton ward meeting in St Saviours at the end of June? If you're concerned about the road safety in the area follow the discussions on the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/saferstondonparkandbrockleyrise/

Roger Stocker said...

TfL roads are red routes, i.e. those with red lines and signs. Brockley Road is NOT one of them. Saying that it is a 'strategic' road which means TfL have a 'interest' in anything that might affect 'capacity' of the road, mainly due to the knock-ons with their roads.
Trouble is that to improve air quality and encourage more people to walk/cycle one of the few ways is to reduce the amount of through traffic, even if you could encourage all local journeys currently made by car to transfer to more sustainable means there would still be a problem with through traffic (volume and sometimes speed). A 20 mph might help a little but ask any neighbour if that would be enough to let their 12 year old cycle on it by themselves I doubt they would say yes. I'm not against tarting up local shops and key locations but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that it will solve all the key issues that this area suffers from. Some publicity for the excellent local shops would help (e.g. Peter James butcher) and key pedestrian crossing points addressed - plus pavement cafes outside cafe's. But will these help improve air quality and prevent the rising respiratory diseases of local children significantly?

Sue L said...

One of the main things Ladywell business owners kept asking for prior to the improvement works was more short stay (20mins) parking to allow for deliveries and unloading as well as passing custom. They've got lots of this now, though the short stay parking is often full of the business owners' vans, effectively reducing customer parking. Not sure how actively the 20min rule is enforced. That said, I would think there would be a case for more 20min parking along bits of Brockley Road (or the ends of the side streets) for businesses to attract passing trade and make deliveries easier. Having allocated parking spaces in Ladywell does also seem to have reduced the number of drivers pulling up onto pavements right in front of pedestrians.

One of the things I think made the biggest visual improvement in Ladywell was working with the commercial premises to get all the forecourts repaved in the same material - something the parade of shops opposite St Andrews could sorely do with.

anonymous said...

I'll put money on Lewisham Council never following through with this. And if they did do it it would probably be ready in time for the Bakerloo extension which planned for 2050. They barely managed with the improvements around Ladywell. This to me seems like a job to big for the reliably incompetent Lewisham Council. Saying that, I do like surprises so If they ever managed to pull this off I would be the first to congratulate them.

Brockley Nick said...

how much do you want to bet?

Ez said...

This is welcome news. Yes, the Ladywell improvements are relatively modest, but they are beneficial in my view. If the same can be done for Brockley Road, then I'll be pleased. It's not reasonable to expect reductions in traffic. It doesn't happen in Blackheath or Dulwich. It's not going to happen here.

Kay said...

They'll have to if the Neighbourhood Plan being planned for some of the area (see map: https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/localassemblies/Crofton-Park-Assembly/Documents/BartsWardCroftonFacilities2008.jpg) also talks about the improvements needed, and the plan is then adopted (although that is potentially 2 years away!!)... key is to have everyone in the area make enough fuss about it, and drive the design... no harm in suggesting alternatives, and there are lots already on this page! Don't ask, don't get!

Stu said...

A mix of good and bad. The Honor Oak (6) one is moronic - reducing the road width down to single lane at the junction of honor oak park road is going to back traffic right back down Brockley Rise. You arent going to reduce traffic - there is nowhere else for it to go as all the "rat runs" have been cut off!

Rolf said...

Why did Mr Lawrence close his shop?

Monkeyboy said...

from talking to him he wanted to slow down a bit, dont think parking was a massive factor in it.

Brockley Nick said...

He moaned for a long time about poor parking provision being a problem, but I don't really accept it. It's not that difficult to park nearby and it doesn't seem to have done other businesses much harm. More likely, there's just declining demand for standalone booze shops (hence offies closing by the bucket-load). Happily, the bars are both thriving.

Corin Ashwell said...

If I may respectfully say, you'll certainly never get a reduction in motor traffic if that's not what you want. If it is what people want, and they organise and demand it, I remain optimistic it can happen. We got rid of CFCs, as I keep reminding myself ;)

Ez said...

That's true enough, but that aspiration is part of a bigger national, even international, debate and resultant fiscal policies. It's not a local matter. What people want, at the moment, is to drive their cars. I speak as a non car owner. For instance, I see no sign, whatsoever, of locals wanting to stop driving their kids short distances to school, despite the occasional campaign.

Malcolm said...

In light of the street lighting fiasco can we trust Lewisham council to do anything that is well thought out and provides lasting benefits for the majority of residents?

It seems to me that Lewisham is becoming a tale of two cities.

There is down the hill, in Newisham, where the cranes and the bulldozers roam, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the sky is not cloudy all day.

There is up the hill, in Ye Oldesham, a gaslamp-fantasy, where cheeky child chimney sweeps, match girls and night soil men roam the streets and, as we speak, Jack the Ripper is alighting from the London Overground at Brockley station.

And then there are the in-between places. The no man’s land of the borough. Skirting as it does the edge of the conservation area but not arriving in Newisham the ‘Brockley Corridor’ is one such place. I wonder what new, phantasmagorical acts of prestidigitation the council might yet have up their sleeve for our delight.

toppie said...

you forget the great swaths of South Lewisham - take a trip to Downham and Whitefoot etc etc - people live there as well.

Roger Stocker said...

You often find that business owners park outside their shops yet say they want to attract passing trade. Lewisham is particularly poor on parking enforcement especially outside CPZ's. I did wonder about Mr Laurence - what would you prefer, 2 cars parked for 1 hour plus containing max of 2 people or 5 buses a hour disgorging 50 potential customers plus?

Roger Stocker said...

Answered elsewhere but he whole of Brockley Road is LB Lewisham highway. TfL control the South Circular. Saying that TfL have a key interest as the road is classified a 'strategic' road and Lewisham would have to have TfL's agreement for any works - plus its TfL monies.

Malcolm said...

I am in total agreement with you. It is my point that the council does not treat us all equal. They have their pet projects. Yet, as you say, there are great swaths of the borough that they generally ignore.

Danja said...

Also from talking to them, the amount of custom was an issue in that they didn't have the turnover to hire in staff to allow them to sit back a bit.

Marvellous isn't it? said...

No, no, no.
The 'South Gateway' needs a 'sense of arrival' about as much as it needs a giant inflatable parrot. How about occasionally fixing and cleaning pavements, rather than making pavements that are already wide enough wider? Ah, but we can use capital expenditure to cover for cuts to current budgets, can't we? Ahhhh.
These plans are, for the most part, absolutely dreadful, and will do nothing to improve the 'Brockley Corridor' as a place to be. Shutting traffic down is a great idea in theory, but there is realistically nowhere else for the through traffic to go, so all we'll get is choking. The proposals at Crofton Park, Honor Oak Park and the South Gateway will be a nightmare for buses as well as (if not more so than) for private cars. But hey, there'll be a tree outside the Rivoli.
Raised table is just an expensive irritation in most situations, and the HOP junction needs more efficient throughput, not less. I thought this was satire when I saw a proposal for on-street parking on the approach. This tribal idea that we must make life harder for cars and will thus make it easier for everyone else is unbelievably weak thinking.
The St Andrews proposal (the other end of the corridor from where I live, but I still care) looks decent, however.

Longtime Ladywell Resident said...

I consider the Ladywell streetscape improvements a massive success and worth every penny of public money spent. There was never any intention to reduce traffic per se, just traffic speeds, and as a pedestrian in Ladywell I feel the balance between motor vehicles and other users is about right. There's still more that can (and will) be done but that's down to businesses and property owners (e.g. shopfronts and building maintenance), street cleansing and enforcement of planning abuses and dumping - however I think the momentum is still there. Onwards and upwards I say!

Corin Ashwell said...

This is the scale of ambition a small north-east seaside town of about 37K people has when it comes to regeneration http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/town-upgrade-schemes-whitley-bay-7686176 - makes these plans for a borough of 300K look pathetic, in my opinion.

Go said...

Call me cynical but I think a lot of this is unnecessary and/or pointless.

1. There's a crossing outside St Peter's Church and another at Adelaide Avenue - do people really need another in between?

2. Maybe the reason people don't walk about on this "corridor" is not because of the traffic, or the noise, or the fumes, it's maybe because there aren't many interesting places to go. Or people are at work. Or they're at a supermarket doing their shopping because their local area has too many fried chicken shops or newsagents. Or it's raining a lot of the year (especially at weekends).

3. Crofton Park "lacks a sense of arrival". The station is a dump in itself so start with that.

4. This corridor has guard rails which "increase severance and make crossing difficult". Aren't they there to encourage people to cross roads at a designated crossing? As well as to stop people running out into the traffic?

5. How do you narrow a road that has only one lane going up and one lane going down?

6. How to de-clutter and improve footways (do they mean pavements?) and at the same time provide new street trees/planting/seating/bicycle parking?

The End.

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