Denmark Hill tube station

Somehow the comments in the last post managed to turn to Camberwell’s transport options (or lack thereof), which reminded me of a post I was going to make last year based on the proposed London transport map of 2016 (PDF).

The East London line would be extended out on the current London Bridge — Victoria train line, and Denmark Hill would be one stop away from the Northern line and five from the Jubilee, would finally have direct access to Clapham Junction (why it currently doesn’t is a source of great annoyance to me) and would be just one stop from the new transport hub of Peckham Rye, which with it’s Tube, Train and Tram connections would suddenly become one of the most desired addresses in South London.

We can’t wait until 2016! Build it NOW, TfL!

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

24 thoughts on “Denmark Hill tube station”

  1. Don’t hold your breath! Even phase 1 of the ELLX (to Dalston, Crystal Palace and West Croydon) is not due until June 2010. There’s still no funding in place for phase 2 (to Clapham Junction), although I believe the mayor and TfL are hoping to secure funding in either the 2006 or 2008 central government spending reviews. Personally, I’d be surprised if the ELLX hit Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill before 2013. On a more positive note, at least the Clapham branch is still in the official plans — unlike the Wimbledon branch (via East Dulwich) which was axed from the plans a couple of years back (I seem to remember that this was blamed on the fact the capacity at Wimbledon would be needed for Thameslink 2000 — which is a cruel joke considering that this project also lacks any firm commitment and funding).

    As for the Cross River Tram project, it does not yet funding have funding in place either, although I believe TfL have secured the money to design it and take it through a Transport and Works Act by 2008.

    Interestingly, although many people are clamouring for Clapham branch, it’s worth noting the TfL are actually only planning a 4 trains per hour service on the route — so anyone expecting a 2–3 minute service frequency may be in for a surprise. That said, it can’t be a bad thing to get onto the tube map regardless of initial service frequency (many people new to London still only look at the tube map, taking more time to become familiar with buses and overland trains). And once built the service can always be ramped up after opening if demand justifies it.

    At times it has seemed that of the tram and ELLX Clapham branch, it would be more likely that the tram would actually get built — if only to relieve some of the congestion on northern line. However if the unexpected happened and London got the olympics instead of Paris, who knows?

  2. Good to know you’re still there…

    A tube stop would help. The 436 bus, 6.30pm on Wednesday, was a brutal, sub-human place to be. I had to get off two stops early before I passed out.

  3. I’m fortunate to live 10 minutes walk from either Peckham Rye or Denmark Hill, so can conveniently get to London Bridge or Victoria in about 20 minutes (with a quick check of Live Departure Boards to make sure it’s on time).

    It’s not always a viable option, but it beats the bus most of the time. I think when you live in North Camberwell you forget about Denmark Hill; but it’s easier than getting the bus to Oval when the roads are busy.

  4. The extended East London Line, will not actually be part of the tube network. Once (if) the line is extended, it’s operation is to be handed over to Network Rail, to run conventional ‘overland’ style trains. It will just mean a new 4 an hour train service from Denmark Hill, (which is some improvement, I guess).

  5. Unfortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it) I don’t work in town, so the train to Victoria is no good. But when I’ve been shopping in town and I manage to get the fast train that gets from Victoria to Denmark Hill in 10 mins — awesome.

    Ben Patio Fact No.187: They planned (once upon a time) to build a motorway along this stretch of railway line, from Peckham to Clapham, and along Coldharbour Lane. Which is why there’s that bizarre housing block at the Brixton end of Coldharbour Lane that looks like it should be next to a motorway.

  6. Am i the only person who doesn’t want a tube for Camberwell?

    I suffered the East London line for 2 years when i lived in New X — it was horrible and rubbish — i have no reason to believe extending it would make it any better, most people would still want to change at Canada Water or Whitechapel.

    The lack of tube is one of the main reasons why i can afford to live in Camberwell rather than being forced to go somewhere like Penge, Norwood (or god forbid .. Croydon) — i have a horrible feeling that the arrival of a tube would prompt loads of bargain hunters who read the Evening Standard property pages to come here and “invest” in this “newly discovered area of Inner London”

    I like not having a tube — it makes us kinda special.

    Having said that they could scrap the 436 — it truly is the bus from Satan — especially in this heat.

  7. Ben, if you’re talking about the housing block I think you’re talking about, it looks like it should be enclosed by a high wall and filled with dangerous criminals.

    I somewhat agree with you, Hannah, but even an improvement in train connections would be better; a link to Clapham Junction would be fantastic, and why the Victoria train doesn’t stop in Brixton even though it passes through there is a mystery to me.

  8. That’s the one.

    Hey Cheeks — I noticed this morning that the Grosvenor Steak House, subject of speculation a few months back, has bowed to the inevitable and has closed.

  9. ok good point, there could be some better train services — as i live in North Camberwell i tend to only use the buses so miss out on the problems of the rubbish train services at Denmark Hill — although i would use Loughborough Junction if it wasn’t on one of the scariest parts of Coldharbour Lane.

    On another point — what on earth is happening to Redstar? — ok it was never the smartest of venues but a few years ago it was an ok place to go to jump around like an idiot to silly mm=usic (and chill out to their stoned Asia evenings on Sundays) admittedly i haven’t been for about 2 12 years but every time i walk past it looks more and more beaten up — how much effort does it take to clean your front door and replace broken windows? If they go on like this i can see it closing by the end of the year — and may that wouldn’t be a bad thing — perhaps someone who actually cares about running a bar properly could take it over.

  10. The group that runs the Redstar, and several others around London, has concentrated recently on putting on weekly and monthly nights run by promoters and DJs, rather than being ‘bars’ per se. I think the Redstar’s problem is that it doesn’t get much passing trade, you have to know where it is. But you’re right. Me and the missus are often wondering how they can have people like Marc Almond and Lady Miss Kier playing there, and yet there’s always a big pile of bin bags and broken chairs outside. Weird.

  11. On the transport tip… and looking this map of the future… there is no mention of the proposed Camberwell train station, which I thought was part of the reason Imperial Gardens was sold off. Anyone know if these plans have been completely scrapped now?

  12. Assuming you talking about the proposed Camberwell station on the Thameslink route, it has indeed disappeared from the proposals without a trace. The proposed Walworth station suffered the same fate. I believe there was some debate between the Strategic Rail Authority and TfL about the whether the Thameslink 2000 project should add to inner London capacity in addition to its main purpose of adding to the capacity of suburban services. The SRA were predictably more keen to push suburban service improvements (both in terms of routes and frequency). As always seems to happens in Britain, when a project gathers dust its cost mysteriously quadruples — the last estimate for the project is £1.7bn. There are obviously issues with stuff like the upgrading of viaducts near to the historic sites of Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral, but that’s not really the problem at all. Like most large government projects, the whole thing’s become a farce, and the government has been looking for excuses to delay committing funds — the “Thameslink 2000” tag is something of a misnomer now that we’re probably looking at 2015 at best…

    Looking at it from the point of view of the current Thameslink 2000 plans it really does appear that unless there’s a major change of heart and more funding, we won’t be seeing a Camberwell or Walworth station as part of the Thameslink 2000 plans at all. But in the light of what’s happened with Imperial Gardens maybe Southwark really do believe they and/or TfL have the clout to get a train services to call at a station in Camberwell if they can get one built? One the other hand, maybe they’ll just plough on with housing development on the site, since Southwark often seem to think this is the answer to all the borough’s problems. Of course, the real tragedy is that there actually used to be a station in Camberwell on this line until 1916, when competition from trams got the better of it.

    Those people holding out for better transport in Camberwell could also hope for another attempt at an extension to the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle. This was previously mooted in the ’30s, ’50s and ’70s but came to nothing — so it we ought about due for this to be a serious proposal again! But since it’s not in the 2016 plan, we can probably expect to wait a couple of decades before this is discussed again.

    As for the East London Line extension, there are a few things worth noting:

    1. Lack of tube service is certainly one of the things that have kept Camberwell relatively cheap, and most of us recognise that increased prices are a double-edged sword for society. On the other hand, London’s population has grown from 6.7 million in 1989 to 7.4 million today, and as it continues to grow the city will definitely need better transport provision than it has now. Current projections are for London to reach 8.1 million in 2016. London’s population did of course previously peak at 8 million back in the ’60s, but transport patterns were a little different then (much of the job loss since then has been from industrial sites outside of Zone 1, whereas much of the job creation has been within Zone 1 and inner Zone 2). Leaving aside the DLR, we shouldn’t forget that we’ve only bothered to build 2 tube lines since the second world war (Victoria and Jubilee)!

    2. Few people would argue that the East London Line has ever been the most useful tube line. But even if you or I don’t use it, upgrading it will still help indirectly. Plenty of people pile onto the Northern Line and mainline services into London Bridge only transfer to the Jubilee to reach Canary Wharf. Give them a another way into work, and people still needing to travel into London Bridge and beyond will have a bit more room to breath. Canary Wharf’s working population has risen from 13,000 in 1995 to 64,000 in 2005, and is likely to hit 100,000 in the next 5 years or so.

    3. Although it is true that redeveloped line will conventional ‘overland’ style trains and could be subject to separate operation from the tube, this is no bad thing. Proper integration with the tube, half-decent service frequency (eventually), and inclusion on the tube map are more important. Besides, in my experience more than half the staff at tube stations have never been seen to do anything important. Every tube station I go to, they’re always in pairs talking to each other and ignoring customers if they can get away with it. And that’s if they’re not just leaning on the barriers with both arms (rumour has it that they used to lean with just one arm, but a subsequent strike earned the right to lean with both arms while doing no work). Not that I’m cynical about the way the tube is run or anything…

    See also:

    Imperial Gardens — Outrage at closure of talent factory

    Imperial Gardens — Southwark accused of ‘ethnic cleansing’

    TfL Initiatives and projects: Thameslink 2000

    Network Rail Thameslink Programme

  13. Why Denmark Hill can’t connect to Loughborough Junction is another mystery to me. The lines run so close together and yet there’s no way to switch from one to the other.

  14. Well, this is the benefit of having had Prescott’s “Integrated Transport” plan in place for the last 8 years, isn’t it?!

    I couldn’t agree more — it’s really stupid not to have an interchange on lines like this that run so close together, especially in this case when there’s about a 2 mile gap between Denmark Hill and Clapham High Street. It’s the same with Brixton. The cost of building a station at Brixton on the South London Line has been estimated to to be at least £50 million, due to the need to locate it on a brick viaduct. Apparently, Loughborough Junction would cost even more than this. Knowing TfL, even more money still would be siphoned off. Best thing would really be to have the DLR management handle everything, since unlike the clowns at TfL, they have proved they can actually control their costs and actually complete a project on time and within budget…

    Our GLA member Val Shawcross is known to favour a stop at Brixton, and Ken Livingstone has said it would be “madness” not to have a stop at Brixton when the ELLX is built. I suspect that an interchange at Brixton will eventually happen, even if it’s after ELLX Phase 2 when the line is connected up to the West London Line and North London Line (the long-term orbital line plan).

    I just hope that with the calls to include Brixton and even put a new station at Battersea Power Station (pending development there), Loughborough Junction doesn’t get forgotten. The area around the station is in desperate need of some investment after being neglected by the council for so long.

    President Nixon once said “If we can send three men to the moon 200,000 miles away, we should be able to move 200,000 people to work three miles away.”

    But largely for institutional reasons, moving people to work has always proved more difficult than one would think.

  15. There does seem to be some development going on around Loughborough Junction at the moment, but I’m not sure what it involves.

  16. Hello! What a good website, this is my first post — Bought a flat just around the corner from Loughborough Junction 2 years ago and there has been a marked change in the appearance of the area since then -

    Lambeth Council refurbished The Loughborough Estate and it is looking very good now with it’s landscaped gardens and local community facilities that have been put back in place after they were removed under the Thatcher regime

    It seems that investors/property developers have been renovating quite a few of the derelict properties around the hub of the junction and although this is a good thing the actual businesses that are appearing are all of the Fake Costcutter/24Hour Off License variety which is hugely dissapointing — How many of these stores do we actually need in such a compact location? I know that our part of London has it’s fair share of social problems but surely there aren’t that many alcoholics? Does Lambeth Council have any say in what kind of businesses open here and if they do then can’t they be a bit more imaginative and try to encourage some local shops that are a bit more rewarding for everybody?

    The Green Man Pub — Has been completely gutted and demolished apart from the wonderful Facia (which I think is listed) Heard a rumour that it was going to be housing association/shared ownership flats for key workers on top and a Tesco Metro on the ground floor but don’t know if it’s true

    I agree that it would be great if Loughborough Junction had a tube station on the proposed East London Line Extension as this would help relieve the rush hour burden on Brixton Tube Station but I believe it involves building a new viaduct and demolishing the inapropriately placed industrial estate (great vision Lambeth Council) that has been there from the 80’s

    Quote from Nairn’s London (published 1966) by Architecture Journalist for The Observer Ian Nairn -

    Loughborough Junction “No performance,so far,but tremendous promise. This place is a busy road junction in the centre of a triangle of high-level railway lines. Each road has a bridge a few yards along it. This unique signiture could so easily be an enrichment instead of an embarrassment,the bridges accentuated and dramatized instead of disregarded. It is a natural centre,so that there would be no fear of tickling up a slight artificial relationship. By contrast,the L.C.C.‘s well publicized Loughborough Road Estate, just beyond under the western railway bridge, is all artificial relationship. Most individual buildings are well detailed,the slabs look marvellous from the air. But on the ground, where it matters, the estate is no more than an arid geometrical excercise masquerading as a place.

    He was pretty spot on if you ask me…

  17. No response to my comments? I’m very dissapointed considering it’s the first time I’ve posted on here…

  18. Actually i think London getting the Games will make ELLX to Clapham High Street/Denmark Hill less likely; the cost overruns of the Games wil be clear at around 2009/2010. That is the date for which the Phase One Croydon branch of ELLX would be ready, yet it is likely with the Games absorbing all funding, that cash for ELLX phase Two will be deferred for several years after 2012.

    What irritates me is that thinking on how to extend services on other suburban lines (eg South London Line/South Eastern services) is on hold pending a purely hypothetical appearance of ELLX. Phase Two, like Crossrail 2, seems to be a polite way of saying a line is on the drawing board. Ulimately the only proposed line worth getting excited about, is the one you see being constructed

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