The Dead Zone

Here’s a thing to try if you’re coming back to Blackheath from London by train in the rush hour.  Station yourself next to someone jabbering away on their mobile phone, and watch what happens between Lewisham and Blackheath.  I guarantee you that their call will drop, just before you get to the square-looking houses on the left-hand side of the track before the Station Car Park.

I saw it happen to a girl on Tuesday evening… Sure enough, my phone refused to connect to the internet, and her call went dead.  Is there something down there between the trees?  We’re in London, it’s not an area full of skyscrapers, and it’s not in a big valley!

Click-and-draggable map above from The Bugle’s Google Map!


Filed under blackheath, transport

13 responses to “The Dead Zone

  1. It seems to happen to all the networks as well.

    A high concentration of Nimbys perhaps?

  2. Anna

    It happens to radios too – I always listen to the radio on my way to and from work and it always goes really fuzzy round this point. By the way, I live in St Joseph’s Vale, very near the dead zone and mobile reception in my flat is pretty patchy too. Maybe there’s some sort of force field creating a communications blackout or something – or have I been watching too many sci-fi films?

  3. Moosh

    It seems to only affect O2 and Orange mainly.. i have an O2 phone which dies along with the rest of them, but my work Vodafone manages to stay alive

  4. Anonymous

    Pity it doesn’t extend all the way to London Bridge. One each side of me yesterday morning, competing to shout loudest to some mate about really urgent stuff like planning to visit Sainsbury that evening and what they might miss on telly. Still, they couldn’t drown out the screams of two toddlers in the double buggy blocking the doors whenever anyone wanted to get on/off. Don’tcha just lerve commuting?

  5. I used to work in Bexleyheath and take the train from Lewisham and always knew not to be on the phone or try texting people in that bit between Blackheath and Lewisham! I seem to recall it has some very high banks on either side and some dense treets?

  6. Exiled on Shooters Hill

    Aah! the famous ‘Black Hole’ of Blackheath… It’s on all networks. Complain to your operator (find out the exact postcode of the area) and they’ll say ‘there is work planned’ to remedy poor coverage. There’s one in Charlton, too – sorry to disappoint the X-Files brigade, it’s purely down to aerials – or, rather, the lack thereof… To echo others, I would be delighted if the whole of the transport wonder that is SouthEastern was a ‘black hole’ zone for mobiles, or, at the very least, that they introduced a by-law that made it acceptable (nay, obligatory) to throw loud, slack-jaw users of phones to be thrown out of the train and onto the (third) rail… Harrumph…

  7. George Grylls

    It always happens with the T- Mobile network. My phone always cut out in this area. Now I have a 3 phone , no worries !

    I assume its a small valley and the signals can’t get down to certain mobile networks, I mean if you are on the platform then the land rises up either side.

  8. John G

    I’ve recently lost mobile connection (orange) in the library and the Crown pub. You don’t expect this in London…

  9. nick

    Worst mobile reception evah is in zerodegrees – I think all the metal girders and vats eat it up

  10. cans

    I don’t get why it winds people up so much if someone uses a mobile on a train journey.
    What with the noise of other people on the train, the train itself and the announcements from the driver, I don’t really notice it.
    Whats the differnece between someone talking on a mobile and someone talking to the person sat next to them? You never hear people complain about other passengers talking to each other..

  11. Blackheath Ann

    Zerodegrees is bad, but you can get reception up on the top level in certain places! Although it’s usually too noisy to make a call anyway…
    Cafe Rouge is another dead zone, also Costa and Montpeliers are patchy. I think the denizens of the Village are meant to use quills and ink or possibly the telegram – it fits in with the historical ambience!

  12. S.

    I live in St. Josephs Vale, and can tell you that the signal is poor for all networks there. Receiving text messages involves a 5 minute walk around just to get some signal :(

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