I can’t read architectural drawings. As several people have pointed out, there is no plan at all to stick a whopping great shutter over the front of Blackheath station. Instead the plan is to keep the external windows and entrance unchanged, but to reduce the size of the newsagents at the upper floor, and to shift the ticket office to the right, which will make more room for ticket machines, as well as revealing the windows on the other side overlooking the tracks. Above is a before and after animated gif, to show the changes more clearly (hopefully). Sorry… I’ll get my coat…
Tag Archives: station
I don’t know about you, but nothing says “this area is dodgy” like a roller shutter with graffiti on it. That appears to be what’s been approved for the station following renovation work (minus the graffiti to begin with).
A spot of colour in one of the planning documents:
Unusually, the track in the bay remains in situ, although it is now heavily overgrown
and otherwise obstructed. The area to the north (now a car-park) was formerly an
area of railway sidings, where commuter trains were stabled when not in use.
The bay platform used to come into its own when a circus was taking place on
Blackheath. Many of the animals would arrive in train vans. The circus would then
process through Blackheath Village on to the heath. There is a local legend that on
one occasion an elephant took exception to a passing bus — and the bus lost!
£420,000 of our money spent on tinkering with the station again. Bear in mind the lifts took nine months to be installed last time. Looking forward to the grand opening in 2035!
Artist’s impression of (badly photoshopped) Blackheath station with a shutter based on an image by Onnola on Flickr.
Following on from the Assembly meeting last week, Heidi Alexander (local MP) has made a petition against Network Rail raising the car park charges.
Spotted by the BVRG
Another interesting story on the Blackheath Village Residents Group site:
Network Rail has distributed this letter to residents living close to the station, advising that work will shortly be underway to lengthen the platforms to take 12 coach trains.
Didn’t they extend it to take 12 cars back in 2010?
BVRG has a very detailed article about Lewisham Council’s previous responses to Network Rail’s suggestions of building high density housing on the car park. If anyone can find Network Rail’s initial housing proposals, it would be interesting to see them…
UPDATE: Please see the bottom of this post for an update from Kevin.
From Blackheath Village Residents Group via an email from Kevin Bonavia:
The Council’s lease on Blackheath Station car park has come to an end and Network Rail, the owners of the car park, do not intend to renew it. It is understood that Network Rail want to operate their own business from the site and although they are not saying what this is they have said that they intend to retain some sort of car parking facility. Network Rail also have a commitment to the arrangements that have been agreed for the Olympics.
Hope they can get something sorted here. Otherwise Network Rail will may try to develop the car park, as they have done in other parts of the south east.
UPDATE: Better link to the mess of redevelopment at Epsom station that I was thinking of: Controversial Epsom Station regeneration given the green light from 2010
UPDATE: Here’s a reply from Kevin Bonavia:
Here’s an update following a number of enquiries to Network Rail about their intentions and to Council officers about Council policy towards use of the site.
Network Rail (via their property department) have informed our MP, Heidi Alexander:
“I would like to confirm that the Blackheath Station Car Park will remain in its current use once the lease with Lewisham Council comes to an end. It will however be necessary for there to be restrictions during the Olympic period due to Blackheath being a designated station for transport to the Olympic Park.”
So far so good. I understand that Network Rail will shortly be meeting Lewisham’s Director of Property to discuss more details, and I have asked for more information about potential changes to the operation of the car park, such as parking charges and any effect on the farmers’ market.
In the meantime, the Council’s approach to the use of the car park is very clear. In 2005, the Council undertook a survey of sites that could potentially be used for more housing as part of Lewisham’s obligations under the London Plan. In the case of the Blackheath Station car park, Network Rail submitted that the site would be suitable for high density housing with a decked car park. The Council, however, decided not to place the site on the list for potential new housing stating:
“Although this site is close to a rail station and therefore in a highly sustainable location it was considered that in this case the preservation or enhancement of the Conservation Area at Blackheath took precedence. It was considered that a development of this density and pattern would not conform to the historic pattern of development within the area and would form an intrusive element that could not preserve or enhance its character. The loss of the car park additionally would not preserve the village character of the Blackheath Conservation Area by removing the Farmer’s market site, and the possibility of parking in the centre of the village.”
Network Rail should be aware of this, but it’s worth reminding them in case there’s a change of heart…
I’m using the excellent new FixMyTransport to persuade Southeastern to get SouthEastern to re-open the sliding blue door!
Who wouldn’t love a website with the tag line “Euston we have a problem”?!
Can anyone explain to me why it would be a good idea to permanently close the side exit from Blackheath station by barricading it with a bannister? Tired commuters on their way home used to love gasping out into the open air. It makes no sense to keep it locked, and makes us miserable!
Please come and support me at
PS – The shortened version is bit.ly/openthisdoor which would probably fit on a sticker :)
Following on from yesterday’s nonsense, there’s another PR inflected piece of tosh here:
But with an added helpful soundbite from those experts in timeliness, SouthEastern trains. Vince Lucas, service delivery director, enthuses:
“For our passengers at Blackheath the completion of this project is a real improvement that they can see for themselves. The station is vital to the local community and encouraging more and more people to use trains has to be a good thing. As with other stations which have benefited from similar schemes, we are sure that more passengers will now start to use the train to get around.”
Yes it’s great Vince. I’m sure I will continue to choose SouthEastern over and above the wide range of other train operating companies available to me from Blackheath station, skipping down the beautifully rendered steps as I do so.
From the “just has to be read to be believed” department:
To keep disruption to a minimum and get best value for money, work to renovate the platforms took place at the same time.
Transport minister Norman Baker said: “It is important that everyone is able to access the railways as rail travel continues to grow in popularity – that is why we have contributed £1.1m from our Access for All initiative to upgrading Blackheath station.
“In total we are committed to spending £370m on upgrading stations across Britain for people with reduced mobility.”
Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, said: “Thousands of people living and working in Blackheath rely on the railway every day.
“This new step-free route around the station is great news for passengers and will make it much easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with reduced mobility or with small children.
“It’s a significant investment in our stations so they better meet the ever changing needs of passengers.”
This article surely is a joke. Where are the delays, the wrong steps, the misery of the commuters? Please head to their comments page and make them realise what a crock their article is. Government subsidy to pay for increased accessibility whilst the SouthEastern is allowed to cream off £61.5m profits every year.
They’ve now added a statement from Network Rail to the bottom of the page:
A Network Rail spokesperson said:
“We issued a letter in April advising local people that we had experienced some problems with the project owing to a combination of extreme winter weather conditions in December and January, some unforeseen difficulties with the installation of the new power supply for the lift and some issues with the fabrication of the new staircase.
“This meant we would not be able to complete the work to the original timescale.
“We apologise for any additional disruption this caused for passengers.”
Translation: We ordered the wrong size steps, we subcontract to subcontractors who have to come in on the train from Southampton (good luck with that), and our subcontractors can’t agree between themselves who is responsible for removing the wobbly bridge. Suck it up and enjoy those price rises…