Meet at the entrance nearest the automated toilet

From an email sent to reader Stuart:

The South London Press has kindly agreed to write an article on the campaign to persuade Ken Livingstone & the Government to build a tube extension & station at Camberwell. The paper wishes to take a photograph of residents in support on Camberwell Green itself next Tuesday 17th January at 9am. Please come along as it is important as many residents as possible attend so please also tell your friends and neighbours. We will meet at the entrance nearest the automated toilet.

We must stress two things at this stage first this is a community led campaign not a party political one although obviously supported by local Councillors and secondly the campaign is focused on obtaining agreement on the principle of a tube station rather than the details of where, which line, etc which can be determined later.

We hope you will agree that transport is the key to the future regeneration of Camberwell and now is the time to make as much noise as possible with investments being made for the forthcoming London Olympics in 2012.

Other aspects to the campaign (petitions, etc.) will be available in due course but please come on Tuesday to show your support to formally get the campaign off the ground.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr. Ian Wingfield & Cllr. Alison Moise

Perhaps a show of public support would be easier if the photograph wasn’t being taken at 9am on a Tuesday >:(

Author: Peter

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

26 thoughts on “Meet at the entrance nearest the automated toilet”

  1. I like the idea of the tube in principal, depends where they put it I suppose. Although one of the things I like about Camberwell is that it’s off the beaten track a little bit and as such doesn’t attract the pink-shirted, penny-loafered city types that frankly turn any area into a homogenous, anonymous rent-a-district. So actually in pricipal I am against the tube. Although it would be good for the value of my flat. So then again…I think I need to go away and think about this one. If I do turn up on Tuesday I’ll bethe way to work on my bicycle, which frankly is the way everyone should travel anyway.

  2. I’m assuming the comedy scheduling is part of a complex double-bluff. The organisers want to be seen to start a campaign but secretly don’t want a tube stop at all.

  3. my sentinments about the lack of tube station mirrored richies comments ten years ago but I’ve grown to believe this omission is one of the things that, while keeping the pink shirts out, also helps suppress regeneration in the se5 area.

  4. A model for Camberwell should be somewhere like Muswell Hill; no tube, but a thriving town centre with plenty of independent shops. Obviously there are differing social factors, but it would make for an interesting study.

  5. I’m in two minds as well, I guess it would depend on what they ended up proposing. Is there any more news on the Peckham / tube link and also the tram plans for south London? Perhaps if things started with pushing for a tube link we might end up with an improved service via one of these instead?

  6. Tube would be fab — good luck to you. But 9am on a weekday morning is the worst possible time to launch the campaign and stage a photo shoot! Can another not be organised which would be better attended? Also, have you considered leafleting residents or posting public notices around Camberwell?

  7. I would don’t want a tube station in Camberwell at all. Three reasons:

    I spent two years living in New Cross using the East London Line — it’s awful, unrelieable and very erratic, i quicky gave up using it in favour of the buses which were both cheaper and much more reliable — i can’t see what an extension of the East London line would gain except to further overload the interchange points at Canada Water and Whitechapel further.

    The lack of tube is a huge factor in making Camberwell an afforable, reasonably central place for people like me to live in. If we get a tube i will be pushed further out by house prices and rents going through the roof when property speculators finally realise that Camberwell is actually very close to central London.

    Final point — we are so close to elephant and castle and oval i really don’t think we need an additional tube — living in Camberwell makes me realise how lazy many londoners can be — i work on the Strand and walk to work and back everyday!

  8. Camberwell Grove & surrounding area has to be one of the nicest parts of central London but frankly half of the people who live and own houses in this area because they are affordable frankly don’t deserve to. In the last year — half the 200+year old Georgian Houses have had plastic window fitted to the back of them. This makes me sick. I wouldn’t really want loads of rich people descending on Camberwell if a tube was built but at least they know how to look after their areas!

  9. Not sure I agree with that Nick. For one, I’m not sure the rich = good taste enough to know not to put plastic windows in holds true, with all it implies about those with less resources. For another, the houses on Grove Lane aren’t really cheap by any stretch of the imagination!

    Could be that the buildings you are talking about are council owned — they’ve just plastified the windows of all the Victorian housing association stock on Wilson Road.

  10. Nah — I’m talking about the squatters in Grove Park that have ripped off lots of the original brickwork from the houses there and don’t spend any money on them so that they fall beyond repair and in Camberwell Grove. Unscrupulous landlords renting out properties to student investing as little as possible into the houses e.g. plastic window and not getting planning permission.

    I understand that I sound like a bit of a fascist and I don’t think that richer people have better taste but more money does mean more resources to look after things as you pointed out and more likely to get planning permission before doing works so avoiding irreversible damage which is a real shame.

  11. Camberwell Grove is a Conservation area i think therefore Southwark Council should be able to ensure no nasty upvc windows are fitted. However Camberwell is more than the (admittedly lovely) Grove Lane — if w get a tube even ex council would be out of reach for people like me.

    My main arguement against a tube for Camberwell is not just to do with the potential rise in house prices — i just don’t think we need one — i think there are plenty of good buses and a good rail link. I also think it is naive to think that a tube connection will be the answer to all of Camberwells problems — generally tube connections do not benefit the poorer and more excluded residents of an area cos they often can’t afford to use the tube and would only be harmed by the potential rie in rents and house prices as wealthier bargain hunters arrive in the area to snap up cheaper properties.

  12. I think the idea to build a connecting viaduct to ensure that Loughborough Junction is on the East London Line extension would be ideal because then Denmark Hill will have better connectivity for Brixton,Vauxhall and Clapham Junction

  13. Better use of the 4 tracks from Loughborough Junction/Denmark Hill to the Elephant and Catle and Blackfriars with say 3 intermediate stations,a tube frequency and a better interchange at E&C with the tube would be more realistic. The idea of a tram or tube extension from the Oval/Vauxhall/Kennington would be a better spend — perhaps extending to Peckham and New Cross.

  14. Some people seem intent on ‘keeping Camberwell down’.
    I’ve lived here for five years and, like most, have enjoyed a love-hate relationship with the area.
    Admittedly, part of the reason for my pitching up here was its affordability. But it’s relatively cheap for a reason, and it’s not just due to the lack of a tube station — I think we all know that. The argument for rejecting the possibility of a connection to the wider transport network as a way of maintaining this ‘affordability’ is ridiculous. It would not kill Camberwell’s uniqueness, just make it a lot easier to get to. Having such a large (and inaccessible) hospital here serves only to reinforce the case in favour.
    I, like many others who live here, cycle into town. For those not able to, and who have to be anywhere in central London in less than an hour,
    a tube link would be wonderful.
    I say well done to the councillors who realise this and are looking to make Camberwell a better place to live. We are seeing money pour into the surrounding areas (notably E&C and Peckham) with very little being spent in our community. Are people protesting against these development projects as well?

  15. Whilst I would love to see it as it would make the area far more connected with the rest of London, easier to direct people to and cheaper to get to the rest of London (cost of tube ticket to say Kensington/ Angel/ anywhere else in central London not on direct bus route from se5 Zone 1–2 tube oyster ticket = £1.50. Cost of ticket from Camberwell = bus + tube ticket (£2.30), 2 buses (£1.60) or Loughborough JN/ D Hill train + tube (£3ish). It would bring real benefits to the whole community and the net benefit from the regeneration and prosperity it would be would more than outweigh any increases in cost of living.

    Another option I wonder if they have considered is opening up Camberwell Station again. It was on Camberwell Station Road (obviously) just off Cam New Road and shut in the 1920s. This wouldnt be very expensive as the track is there and would make central Cambewell more accessible to central and outer London as L JN and DH are a fair walk from central Cambewell

  16. This is quite a depressing blog. I’m thinking about moving to Camberwell (having rented there a couple of years ago and loved it — apart from the transport bit). I live in Swiss Cottage at the moment and having the tube nearby is literally heaven. I can come home late at night without having kebab thrown on me on the endless night bus journeys. I can get almost anywhere in central london in 30 minutes and I feel safe coming home. For those who are anti the tube, I’m sorry but you are deluded and hyper paranoid. It doesn’t mean an area’s turned into gentrified Chelsea, just look at Clapham — Northcote Rd — that’s happened without any tube at all. It just means it’s easier to get to and from home.. end of story. The more people whine about hypothetical disasterous consequences of the tube, the more the council will happily ignore the problem and the more you are essentially kicking yourselves in the foot.

  17. I agree… why would anyone argue against improvements in transport? The more transport options available, the better. Camberwell is a great place however, despite it’s shortcomings in this respect.

  18. This topic has become live again with Boris’ recent “announcement”. As a previous poster said, why not just restore Camberwell Station on the main line? Instant links to many destinations. There used to be stations at places like Walworth Road and Brixton (on the South London Line) and there is still a disused platform at Loughborough Junction on the curve from Elephant to Denmark Hill. Seems odd we have to go the expense of a new tuble line when potential connections are already there!

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