BXAG responds to Brockley Cross plans

Following a public meeting on Wednesday evening, the Brockley Cross Action Group has submitted to Lewisham Council its response to the proposals to remodel Brockley Cross.

The response is very long, so what follows is an edited version of their specific feedback. It should also be noted that they have requested that the consultation period be extended, given the complexity of the project.

  1. We believe there should be proper pedestrian crossings on Shardeloes Road, Endwell Road, Malpas Road and possibly Geoffrey Road. These would provide safe crossing points across busy roads. We are very sceptical about your proposed “informal” crossing points.
  2. Brockley Cross’s only existing pedestrian crossing, at the north end of Brockley Road next to the railway bridge, needs to be moved. If you have talked to any local people who use the crossing the vast majority of them will tell you bluntly that it is extremely dangerous, due to its poor location on a blind corner and also its proximity close to the roundabout, from which drivers are prone to accelerate. We think the crossing should be relocated southwards to face Coulgate Street, which we hope will eventually become a pedestrian friendly shared surface. It should also be noted that there will in future there will be steps leading down from the north end of Brockley Common, creating a major pedestrian link to Brockley Station and the adjoining footbridge.
  3. Why is the project so limited in its scope, with the emphasis on getting vehicles through the junction as efficiently as possible? We are concerned that traffic should not be encouraged to move at greater speed through the junction, which is dangerous enough as it is, even with traffic in the main quite slow around the roundabouts.
  4. Why have you not widened any of the pavements? Brockley Cross desperately needs wider pedestrian friendly pavements and yet in 2 places you are actually proposing a width reduction. We strongly disagree with this approach and urge you to consider wider pavements wherever feasible.
  5. The existing large parking layby on the south side of the junction has been identified as a very unpopular existing feature. We propose that the layby be redesigned as an in line car parking area to match the one on the north side of Malpas Road, thus allowing the pavement to be significantly widened and providing opportunities for tree planting as well.
  6. We believe that any new car parking provided in the proposals should be e.g. 20 minute short stay parking (9.00am – 5.00pm) that would benefit the local shops and prevent people parking there all day. A new parking regime must be backed up by proper parking enforcement.
  7. What is the justification for retaining the existing double roundabout? This is a widely reviled feature in Brockley, which many people consider outdated and hazardous, particularly when turning right from Malpas Road into Shardeloes Road. It has been described as little more than a traffic “free for all”.
  8. Why has the Council not considered the use of traffic lights around Brockley Cross?
  9. What improvements are you proposing to include that will specifically benefit disabled, visually impaired and elderly residents? Steep dropped kerb crossings are dangerous for wheelchair users, as wheelchairs can shoot out into the roadway off a steep ramp.
  10. We welcome the upgrading of the pavements, which are in desperate need of new high quality paving. We like the idea of the yorkstone paving but only if it is part of wider strategy of pavement improvements that will be extended southwards into Brockley Road, outside the shops. However... could the money be better spent on other improvements?
  11. We support the proposed tree planting providing better consideration is given to their location and number – some appear to be blocking or narrowing pavements, others are on tiny islands and some appear to obstruct sight lines. We are bemused by the “feature tree” in the middle of the double roundabout.
  12. Could you please explain the rationale behind the apparent shared surface – the raised carriageway? Will this not be visually confusing to pedestrians, encouraging them to cross anywhere on the junction? Given the amount of traffic and the many directions from which vehicles come we think proper crossings would be far safer. We do however welcome any proposals that slow the traffic down.
We could not agree more with any of this. Most of the recommendations appear to be cost-neutral and should not impact on the ability of the junction to process traffic. The double-roundabout is not an efficient means of processing cars, but it is dangerous and ugly.

We hope to report the Council's response soon.