Posted by Nick Barron on 27.1.11
One of only two Crossrail stations planned for South East London is in danger of being cancelled, according to a report in The FT today.
There's a charity bring and buy book sale tonight at The Hill Station, Telegraph Hill, from 6.30pm - 8.30pm.
The BBC reports that Sheffield University will scrutinise Southeastern's punctuality figures for 2010, which came in a fraction over the threshold at which the company would have to offer season ticket holders a discount.
Early-stage work to redevelop a brownfield site on the west side of Brockley Station has begun.
Full disclosure: Before we proceed, we should say we're about as conflicted as it is possible to be. Brockley Central is a Spurs fan, with friends who work at the club. In our day job, we work for Manchester City FC and LOCOG.
Next week, the London 2012 Olympic Stadium’s legacy mode will be decided, with two bids on the table: one from Tottenham Hotspur and AEG and another from West Ham United and LiveNation.
The Spurs bid involves relocating from White Hart Lane in North London to a new, purpose-built 60,000-seat home that would significantly expand the Club’s seating and hospitality. To compensate athletics for the loss of the Olympic Stadium, they would refurbish the existing athletics stadium at Crystal Palace as a 25,000-seat venue. Crystal Palace Football Club itself has spoken rather hazily of plans to turn the existing athletics stadium in Crystal Palace in to a new home for their club.
West Ham, by contrast, wants to relocate a short distance from the Boleyn Ground to a modified version of the just-built Olympic Stadium, which would reduce its capacity to 60,000, but retain the athletics track, thus honouring the spirit of the original Olympic bid, which promised a legacy for athletics at the heart of a regenerated East London.
Both clubs have ageing stadiums and average attendances close to capacity. White Hart Lane is the worst major football stadium in London for public transport. For either club, a move will give them vastly improved transport links and a comparatively low-cost new home. If neither bid is successful, then the majority of the stadium will be removed in any case, and a roofless athletics bowl will remain.
Some have suggested that Spurs are hoping to strengthen their negotiating position with Haringey Council. The argument runs that the club has spent years working with the Council to develop a new stadium and have finally come up with a proposal that could work for both sides, but think they could squeeze further concessions from the Council and don’t really want to desert their historical home. We don’t subscribe to that view. The club has analysed its fan base and thinks there are as many supporters from East London and Essex who would find the Olympic Park much more accessible as there are north London fans who would be disadvantaged. The iconic location of the Olympic Park, its ability to support a much wider range of commercial activities and a shorter, cheaper construction programme must be incredibly appealing.
What’s in it for West Ham is less obvious. Football clubs like Juventus and Bayern Munich, with home stadiums built to host athletics, realised long-ago that they create a terrible atmosphere, hated by regular fans and armchair supporters alike. They don’t have the season ticket waiting list of Spurs and a lack of atmosphere could deter new fans from coming. They could be the Blackburn Rovers of the south and the only club in the Premier League with a running track, spoiling sight-lines for fans and reducing payments from broadcasters, who’ll be less inclined to show their home games.
Athletics wants the prestige of being located in the Olympic park and a venue capable of bidding for the World Athletics Championships. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the money to pay for any of this itself and athletics events don’t attract the crowds to justify a large stadium. Should London ever want to bid for the Athletics, then Wembley has been designed to allow a temporary athletics platform to be installed.
As for the suggestion that Crystal Palace is on the wrong side of town, that smacks of nothing other than vanity. London should have a high-quality athletics venue, but a rebuilt Crystal Palace venue could do the job very nicely, if Spurs are forced to deliver it before they can move in to their new home. Not only would it meet athletics' needs, but it could breathe new life in to a forlorn facility in South East London (which is the reason for writing this article).
Lord Coe supports the West Ham bid and his desire to stick as closely to the spirit of the original pledge to the IOC is understandable. However, as Qatar and FIFA are busy proving, lots changes occur between a bid being chosen and a major sports event being delivered. Indeed, the London Olympics already looks different to the one promised. The IOC extracts a high price from any host city and are getting a wonderful legacy in the form of the Olympic park. Better this country finds the solution that suits its own needs than be lumbered with a white elephant, which taints our memory of the Games and our view of the organisation that forced it upon us.
Whatever happens, it shows the wisdom of the ODA’s decision to build a modular stadium, short on architectural drama, but (relatively) cheap, flexible and recyclable, which means that London will pull off an almost unprecedented feat - building a venue specifically designed for two months of international sport that also works for the people of the city, forever after.
A new crescent street will be created leading from Durnford Street to the market which the inspector describes as as “imaginative and acceptable additional chapter in the market area’s evolution” that would provide “variety and interest”.
The redevelopment of the market, which has been strongly supported by the Greenwich Society and local MP, Nick Raynsford, will not begin until January 2013 at the earliest and traders will move to a new temporary market at Monument Gardens whilst the redevelopment is undertaken.
With thanks to Michael.
Posted by Nick Barron on 20.1.11
After we brought you the ghost of Brockley Cross' past, here's what could yet be to come.
Demolition specialists Keltbray are currently working at Convoys Wharf in Deptford to clear the site ahead of possible redevelopment of the site, as described here.
Tonight's Crofton Park Transport Users Group will hear from Peckham campaigners who want the 63 bus route extended from Forest Hill Road to Honor Oak Park, to connect it with the local facilities and of course the East London Line.
Having recognised that talking up house prices in London is a lost cause at the moment, the local estate agents have turned their attentions to the rental market. The South London Press today quotes no less an authority than Housemartin's Estate Agents, who says:
“Since August last year we’ve seen a 40 per cent increase in young professionals coming in from other boroughs looking for places to rent, as Lewisham is cheaper and has good transport links thanks to the opening of the East London line.” He said a two-bedroom flat in Brockley would have cost £235 a week in August but was now £285.
The Brockley Cross Action Group's Des Kirkland endorses that message, although the photo chosen by the paper to illustrate Brockley must make the casual reader ask why.
Brockley Nick here...
When local bloggers get too good, we simply absorb them. That's why we're pleased to welcome the latest addition to the Brockley Central family: Brockley Ben, a leading food blogger in his own right and now our resident restaurant reviewer.
Frankly, food and drink reviews have always been one of Brockley Central's blind spots - we usually run out of ideas after saying that it tasted nice. Jon and Kate have made a few valiant efforts and we've had a couple of great entries from Honor Oak Zoe, but new blood is needed. So here he is, starting with a subject that we can't believe we've never written about, given how much we use it - Babur's takeaway service:
Brockley Central loves a curry as much as the next blog but is not always in the mood to traipse to the far end of Brockley Road to savour Babur's unquestioned quality. This year's typical British summer makes the trek particularly unappetising, but sometimes - more or less twice a week as it happens - only a curry will do. And so the hand reaches for the trusty bundle of take-away menus and the mind once again wonders where the speed-dial instructions are.
Until recently the choice has usually been between Cinnamon, which boasts a few interesting Southern Indian specialities, and Essence of India, which is bog standard UK curry-house fare - and none the worse for that. Babur's own delivery option (apparently linked to the restaurant in name alone) has always felt a bit of a poor relation to the restaurant itself and has quietly fallen off the roster.
Babur, though, could never be accused of resting on its laurels (its regular special menus and loyalty scheme are testament to that) and has recently relaunched it a la carte delivery service. Previous attempts to try this service have been met with mixed results: confusion as calls went to and fro between restaurant and take-away kitchen, no clear idea of which dishes were available and overlong delivery delays.
This time, though, they've done it properly: a cut-down version of the main restaurant menu on a smart flier, a single number to call and a professional, confident tone when you do. They'll even take the plastic if the PDQ machine is available. But best of all you get a fancy box!
Highlights from the first couple of test runs have included venison chapli (spicy patties), multani soole (char-grilled paneer), dum-cooked rabbit and hara cholliya te paneer, a deeply rewarding dish of chickpeas and paneer in a Punjabi marsala that's billed as a side-dish but is a meal in itself.
Prices seem to be about 8o to 90 percent of the restaurant menu (starters £4.50 to £5.95, mains £9.50 to £13.50). Delivery is free and there's a minimum order of £20. And there's a 10 percent discount if you go and pick up your fancy box yourself.
Posted by Nick Barron on 17.1.11
Lisa Well who's your booking agent?
Mike She, she knows… actually I don't have west coast representation as of yet
Lisa Well who was your agent back east?
Mike I sort of free lanced on my own kind of a thing
Lewisham Council has confirmed that the Jude Court (nee Bridge House) development does not carry with it any specific obligations to improve access to Brockley Station on the west side.
Obviously, the removal of the scaffolding and the reopening and repair of the pavement outside the station will significantly improve the current approach to the station, but the Section 106 agreement carries with it no obligations to make other cosmetic improvements.
Instead, there is a more general obligation to:
£5,000 will also be contributed to improvements for local cyclists and £10,000 for "town centre management".
We hope to report specifically how the money will be allocated, in due course.
Tomorrow, a church service will be held to remember the victims of the 1981 New Cross Fire, 30 years on.
Local Labour Councillors Vicky Foxcroft and Jimi Adefiranye have submitted a joint response to the Brockley Cross consultation, calling for greater attention to be given to pedestrian safety.
Their submission is the result of feedback they’ve had from the local community and echoes many of the points made by the Brockley Cross Action Group. Vicky points out that in their conversations with the Council officer leading the project, he confirmed that there is scope for significant change to the plans and that late submissions to the consultation will be accepted.
Myself and Councillor Jimi Adefiranye have responded to the consultation regarding the proposed changes to the Brockley Cross junction. In doing so, we have tried to take on board as many people’s views as possible. We believe that it is good news that at long last funding has been secured to improve this area. However we have the same concerns as many residents in the area.
We believe that the new scheme should have greater concern for the pedestrians who have to cross here on a daily basis. We believe the new scheme has to take due regard for the safety of all.
We have also asked for feedback as to why they haven't considered changing to one roundabout, and we want to know why they don't believe this would be viable. I have been informed that this is due to safety reasons and we have requested more information on this.
We are in touch with council officers and other organisations who are involved in developing this. We have been informed that this is very much at the consultation stage and that they will endeavour to ensure people’s concerns are addressed.
If anyone wants to contact me about this, please come along to my surgery on the 1st Saturday of the month at Little Gems Nursery just off Malpas Road and the 3rd Saturday of the month at Addey and Stanhope school, just off Tanners hill. Alternatively I am happy to meet people at other times if they want to call or email me.
In the future we will be receiving a presentation from them, hopefully in March to give feedback on the consultation and how they believe we should go forward with this. If anyone is interested in attending this, please contact me and let me know. Numbers are limited, but we will endeavour to try and ensure as many people who want to be present are able to be. Alternatively you can call us on or email me at with your views.
In particular, the Councillors raised three key points, which we have edited for reasons of space:
Safety and Pedestrian crossings
When talking to residents they would like to see crossings available at each entrance of the junction.
We also have an increase in the number of people crossing here, due to the fact we now have the East London line at Brockley station.
Is it not possible to have one roundabout, rather than the two that are currently used? It is felt that this may make the junction safer.
Many people find the junction confusing and quiet often there is confusion with traffic about who has the right of way.
Numerous people have mentioned widening the streets around Brockley cross to make the area pedestrian friendly, this should be considered as part of the proposals.
- 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.
- Brockley Cross’s only existing pedestrian crossing, at the north end of
Brockley Roadnext 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We believe that any new car parking provided in the proposals should be e.g. 20 minute short stay parking () 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.
- 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 Roadinto Shardeloes Road. It has been described as little more than a traffic “free for all”.
- Why has the Council not considered the use of traffic lights around Brockley Cross?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.