Brockley Cross facelift - Lewisham sets expectations

When we heard that the Council had committed to make improvements to Brockley Cross, we sent Cllr Alexander a few questions, to try to clarify exactly what we can realistically expect from the work. She followed this request up with Malcom Smith, Executive Director for Regeneration.

Now, ahead of the local consultation meeting on January 25th, we've received this response - for which we're very grateful.

The letter makes clear that we should not expect anything radical in the short-term. Although this is hardly a surprise, it's a shame that the scope of work is quite so limited and part of the challenge will be to persuade the Council to commit to a time frame for the more significant changes, which the letter acknowledges are a longer-term objective. It should also allay the fears expressed here that work could have an impact on other nearby roads, including those in Telegraph Hill.

We asked whether the 4 options developed with the Brockley Cross Action Group would be considered and the letter makes clear that these options may be considered in the future, but not now. That will be a familiar story to BXAG members but at least the Council has not thrown those ideas out.

The list of improvements that we can look forward to seems sensible and should address the most pressing concerns, which are safety and the quality of pavements and crossings for pedestrians. We asked specifically whether the Council would look at options to reduce the amount of traffic using Geoffrey Road (and hence Wickham Road) as a rat run, because that has been a long-standing issue for residents and - as you can see from the response - the Council will not take any action on that issue if it has any knock-on consequences.

Here's the response:

The project at Brockley Cross planned for 2011/12 will primarily be an accident reduction scheme where it is also hoped to carry out minor public realm improvements at and within the immediate vicinity of the double roundabout. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to consider the wider Brockley Cross area within the scope of this particular project. However, it is hoped that development of a wider Brockley Cross scheme can commence within the next couple of years, however this will be subject to the identification of suitable funding opportunities.

It is hoped that this project will provide the following; accident reduction (may include traffic calming measures to reduce speeds), improved public (particularly pedestrian) realm, improved crossing facilities and reduced clutter (guardrail). It should be noted that some of these objectives may be constrained by the existing road layout and need to maintain traffic flows and to not increase congestion. Any proposed changes and associated works will need to be carried out within any available funding and physical constraints etc.

A proposal to "stop up" Geoffrey Road to through traffic would probably need to be part of a larger study of general traffic flows through the area and therefore a separate project. The detailed communication plan for any project in this area would need to reflect the scope of the project and its likely effects on the local community. BXAG would certainly be included in this consultation. With regards to the Brockley Cross options developed in 2005, these may be considered, however the scope of the project will need to be commensurate with the level of finance available.