Miracle on Brockley Cross

Four roads converged in a yellow hood
The Brockley Cross makeover is complete. It took a year, a few corners have been cut compared with the original plans and there is still some construction debris lying around (as per the Conway MO), but the overall effect is nonetheless transformative. It's worth remembering just how terrible this spot used to be.

Where vans used to be parked illegally and dangerously all over the place, we now have broad pavement and young trees.

The redesign to reduce the number of parking spots and the closure of Nat's has stopped Brockley Cross being a hang-out for drug-dealers, so that this has been the first year in the history of BC when there has not been a single serious violent crime at this location.

People used to sit in their cars and chuck their fast food packaging (and often their food) out of their windows on to the street. The reduction in parking and improvements in refuse management mean that this spot no longer overflows with rubbish every day.

Brockley Cross used to look like a six lane motorway with near-misses at the junction an hourly occurrence and prangs a weekly feature. The redesign has calmed the traffic and our walk to work through Brockley Cross no-longer rings to the sound of angry car-horn-exchanges between drivers.

Pedestrians, who used to be an afterthought at this location, no longer have to negotiate all this chaos. The raised road surface, dropped curbs and new crossings make it a much safer place to walk.

Brockley Cross is still not a thing of beauty - and may never be - but it is no longer a place of crime, filth, chaos and noise. And that has made all the difference.