Trains, bikes and a tube station for Camberwell?

So continuing on the theme of transport highlighted in the last post there have been several recent developments and announcments on the transport front which will bring benefits to Camberwell.

Denmark Hill Station
The Denmark Hill Station redevelopment is reaching completition with a fancy new footbridge and lifts which, according to the station operator, are set to open in August 2013. You will recall that when the redevelopment started in 2011 we were told it would be completed for Summer 2012 so a year later we are finally nearing the end.

The London Overground services continue to impress and help to put Camberwell on the map. I continue to feel that there has been a missed opportunity to explicitly mention Camberwell in the station signs, the line map or in the title, eg ‘Denmark Hill for Camberwell’ — Denmark Hill is part of Camberwell not a separate place.

Cycle Superhighway 5
Transport for London have published plans for its cycle superhighway 5 which runs from New Cross to Westminster including along Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Church Street. The plans will bring wider benefits to Camberwell with the creation of semi-segregated bus and cycle ways, changes to the junction of Denmark Hill and Camberwell Church Street, widening of pavements and secondary measures such as a 20mph limit. TfL have also pledged to undertake changes to the junctions near Oval tube station and around Vauxhall Cross which will make things safer for cyclists. In its separate cycling strategy TfL have pledged to bring the cycle hire scheme, aka Boris Bikes, Southwards to places like Camberwell.

As I’m sure you are aware our area has one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the UK and yet the main roads are dominated by motor vehicles. The beauty of the cycle superhighways is that they can be implemented in a relatively short time — TfL have promised that most of the work will be completed in 2014 and everything will be done by 2015. TfL have ambitious plans to increase cycling across the whole of London: making an area like Camberwell cycle friendly makes it people friendly

And finally a tube station for Camberwell?
Mayor Boris has been busy setting out his vision for transport for the next 20 years in his 2020 Vision document. It includes lots of grand statements about future developments including a pledge to seek funding to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant to Camberwell, Peckham and further. Whilst only the opening salvo in a bid for Government funding this strategy is an important rallying document- Southwark Council have already pledged £50,000 to carry out a feasibility study for the tube. I dont want to get my hopes up too high ‑they have been talking about Camberwell underground station since the 1930s you will recall–  but I hope this time that funding and political will can be found to make Camberwell tube station a reality.

63 thoughts on “Trains, bikes and a tube station for Camberwell?”

  1. Early days, but just a few thoughts on the new station. It’s lovely and all of that however it doesn’t yet seemed to have made it easier when they flip the platforms at the last minute. Also, why on earth didn’t they extend the bridge over to the Windsor Walk side? That’s madness and annoying (and don’t say because they wouldn’t man the gates — Forest Hill just has gates ’round the back’).

    However, and they might be about to do something about this, but ONE ticket machine? ONE? I can’t wait until the next Monday morning at the start of the month when I’ve forgotten to sort out my oyster in advance…

  2. Yes I was hoping that they would create an entrance on the Windsor Walk side, the Camberwell side, of the station too. I had hopes that the temporary bridge would lead to a permanent structure. maybe thats one for the next change to the station? With regard to the ticket machine — I guess if we all complain to Southeastern Trains eventually they will have to install one — or is that too simplistic? maybe also raise concerns with Transport for London who may be able to exter a bit of influence

  3. I have the (mis)fortune of taking the Overground to work and back every day.

    At rush hour it is hideously oversubscribed — you’re lucky to actually get on some days. Could do with a more frequent service, or one that doesn’t start at Clapham Junction (which would allow people who actually live along the line to get on it). I know quite a few people at work who have faster journeys available to them (eg via Waterloo) but take the Overground as they don’t have to go through zone 1, therefore save money.

    Quite annoying.

  4. Boris is fond of making pledges knowing full well that most of them won’t be realised and that there’ll be no come back. Four years ago he pledged “to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2012”. The number of people sleeping rough in 2012 had more than doubled.

    But the refurbished station is good — shame about no exit on to Windsor Walk — but the new bridge will be good for train spotters!

  5. 1. Does anyone know why they didn’t add another exit on Windsor Walk? Does seem a bit silly. I do love the Overground, but can understand it would be a bit annoying in rush hour.

    2. Warning: shameless plug coming up…

    Closing night of Picture The Block is tomorrow evening (Friday 28th June) from 5pm — 8.30pm. We’ll be having a few drinks and enjoying ourselves. Please come along.

    Just in case you can’t make it, or want a preview, all the photos are now up on the website.

  6. Oh and as an added bonus, anyone who comes and signs the visitors book gets put into the raffle to win a signed copy of Crusons from the 36 Reasons exhibition. All part of the South London Art Map Last Friday’s. Whoop Whoop!

  7. Our application for a bike hire stand must have got lost in the post.

    I’m hoping the cycle route comes to together and that London Cycle Campaign is involved in writing the spec. Left to the council or TFL it can only go wrong.

    Also, while I’m moaning, no direct trains to Victoria anymore at the weekend, and only two an hour in the week. Denmark Hill to London Bridge trains also cancelled.

    The overground is good for getting from Clapham to Canary Wharf.

  8. Great d‑d-doings in Camberwell, I am so flustered. There is talk from our neighbours in the Peckham Society of renaming Highshore Road Open Space, the smallest park in Southwark with the longest name. The sign for the park, in several languages, is almost bigger than the park.

    The suggestion from the Society is to rename it after William Griggs who was apprenticed at 12, came to London at 18, went to night school and invented photo-chromo-lithography.

    This is he.

    To the committed situationist, well, not quite sectioned or committed, to the situationist at large, I should say, this is a mighty footnote to our wanderings. The small park or garden is one of the nicest and best kept in London in its tiny, tiny way. If the tin sign is reduced by the new name, that alone is a reason for voting for Griggs.

  9. One can see the trainspotters on the new Denmark Hill station bridge, in nylon anorak over nylon shirt, running down — simply humming — to see and photograph the most recently renamed piece of London’s A‑Z.

  10. I was just checking out the new Tate website and discovered this painting of Camberwell…

    I have always thought that Camden Town and Camberwell were very simular locations which went in a different direction over the last 50 years due to a number of key factors

    Grand Union Canal
    Surrey Canal

    A vibrant cabaret/music scene in pubs and music halls/theatres

    Both began as very picturesque Georgian market garden suburbs which became over-populated in late Victorian era and were heavily bombed during war.

    Both places a magnet for artists

    I’ve lived in both places (or in the direct environs — Kentish Town & Walworth) and have always been interested in doing a study on both…

    One of Camden…

  11. Dagmar

    There are so many fascinating artworks by relatively unknown artists which are almost never on display.

    Apparently, people who are paid to know a thing or two about a thing or two seem to think that the general public are only interested in all the big names.

    Maybe investigating the ley line between Camden & Camberwell and their histories could be a potential future arts festival project?


  12. The empty Heygate Estate is being transformed by graffiti on the New Kent Road side. One particularly apposite statement: “Southwark Council smokes crack!!!”

  13. I remember when COPTERCOLLER’s wall was knocked down by COPIERCOLLER. I mean, they didn’t spray over it, they just knocked the wall down.

  14. Those pictures are interesting eusebiovic. The one of Surrey Canal captures something about the area brilliantly, even though there’s no canal anymore.

    Southwark Council must be on something the way that project has progressed, or not. Anarcho Penguins would know.

  15. I never really understand why people want the tube in Camberwell. What I love about Camberwell is that it doesn’t have the tube. To put it bluntly, the arrival of the tube would be the cue for a massive round of social cleansing that would erase Camberwell’s unique character as a London neighbourhood.

    How about some cheaper transport improvements: convert major bus routes (eg 12, 68) back to trams; reinstate the old Camberwell Station and increase frequency of trains on the line to make it more like a tube service rather than a commuter belt service. Eventually we might get back to the level of transport provision that Camberwell had before WWI.

  16. I finally went to Maloko. What a great place. Good vibes. It feels like alternative cafes used to. Take the window seat for an eye on the happenings of Camberwell Church Street.

    Hope you like cheese with your buckwheat pancake.

    Haven’t tried the coffee, but I don’t really care. It’s more about the hangout.

  17. Actually no. The Guardian style guide would have it as Boris’s arse.

    Mr Stell, my dear old English teacher, would have agreed with you, but he’s been dead for nigh on thirty years.

    Language, like Boris’s arse, is constantly changing.

    What a worrying thought.

  18. Owen is correct about the tube.

    Camberwell’s character (and characters) will be swept away by a tidal wave of rustic mockneys searching for convenient inner city credibility.

    But change is in the air regardless of the tube. We’re rapidly becoming the arty end of west Peckham. Even black cabs will bring me home from town these days.

    I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see Camberwell become the new Camden. Thank God.

  19. Yes, I much prefer living South…36 years and counting…

    I find it hard to disagree with the graffiti on the derelict Heygate Estate…all things considered up until now, it’s very restrained and more than polite really…

    I’m sure it resembles the graffiti which was painted there when they got rid of about a dozen streets of 4 storey flat roofed Victorian flats (a bit like the Pullens on Amelia Street) to build the thing in the first place — it was inaugurated in 1974 — we can expect another scheme sometime around 205464.

    I’m sure there were a few choice words when the Surrey Canal was filled in 1972 as well…the only canal in London where this was allowed to happen!

    Maybe all who have passed through the council have adhered rather slavishly to the 1948 “Plan for London” (a gold medal oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one) which was of course based on a 1930’s study by the economist John Maynard Keynes who suggested that North and West London should be retained as the cultural and historic assets of the capital and that East and South had no right to such delusions of grandeur and were merely just a vehicle there for the constant destruction-construction-destruction cycle of experimentation of architectural materials for the benefit of shareholders and so forth…


  20. By Juno, Mr Stell couldn’t spell his own name, Jes. But yes, “Ditto what Owen says,” as Monkeycat said in his halting English. A tube would bring the people who, if they want something, buy it.

    Lyndhurst Primary School is a good measure of what’s happening in central Camberwell. More and more reception children are those of highly demanding, highly competitive professional parents who do not have the manners of people who live side by side with other people. Their kiddies are like adults, the parents are like zombies.

    Our existing (in every sense) posh people are real sports. They are pillars of the Camberwell scene who swim in the Baths, go to the doc’s and drink in the Cave like the rest of us.

    Owen’s phrase for Camberwell — a London neighbourhood — is good, isn’t it? When you can walk to London in half an hour and get a bus to anywhere in the world (Penge), who needs a tube to feed the predatory social asset strippers into Camberwell, like hospital nutrients up Ian Brady’s nose?

  21. @Dagmar

    Are you familiar with the ouevre of George Carlin? I think you would enjoy his views regarding the type of parents that you refer to 😉

    Yes, come the apocalypse the good denizens of SE5 must rise up and keep the replicant, zombie masses at bay…just like the kids defending the Wyndham Tower in cult film “Attack The Block”

    Perhaps, the tube will end up going to Peckham via Old Kent Road…I have a feeling that nobody on The Groves would be feel too happy about risking disruption to the foundations of their lovely, plump Georgian piles…


  22. The Grove people are the ones who have kept that bit good. That’s my point. They are us. The Camberwell Society is brilliant.

    The Nu Bourgeois coming in have no feel for any place or people around them. They’ve probably been to Glastonbury.

    They say “cool” in answer to everything and “Can I get…” in the Crooked Well.

    They are the corporate, walking dead.

    An alchemist would say they were the esther of the south-east’s south-east, ill-at-ease, triple-distilled, southern-easterners (cubed).

  23. Back to the important matter of apostrophes. In AP style, if a proper noun ends in s or an s sound, add an apostrophe only. AP style is American, granted. But it’s the benchmark for functional writing. So, Boris’ arse.

    On the other hand, who cares.

  24. If Borisarse’s arse is the benchmark for functional writing, let us debag him this instant and write in it in indelible tagging pen,


    and pack him off back to the panto in Bexhill where he really belongs.

  25. Gabe, I sadly spend far too much of my life caring about these things. Only partly because my work is involved.

    American style and punctuation has always trodden its own path. Which is Why They Have such Odd Headlines.

    It’s gotten out of control. We are all becoming citizens of Microsoft.

    Dagmar, what has Bexhill ever done to you? Not even they deserve either Boris’s or Boris’ arse.

    Notting Hill might, but Bexhill surely deserves a better panto villain. Oily Hunt perhaps?

  26. @Dagmar

    I like The Groves…it is a pleasure strolling down them on occasion…but Camberwell has many delightful pockets of beauty, it never fails to surprise me! — Are they going to re-instate 3–4 houses in the same style where the Grove Chapel has been demolished at the junction of Love Walk?

    Now that Denmark Hill station has had it’s upgrade and refurbishment…plans are afoot for a Loughborough Junction station one too…they are currently putting the finishing touches to a cycle route between both stations via Cambria Road and Ruskin Park — which is looking quite dapper…perhaps all that would be required should a station happen would be on the Thameslink exactly halfway between Elephant and LJ probably facing Burgess Park entrance and linking via cycle and walking routes?

    I too dislike the negative skullduggery the tube can bring…as useful as it can be…

    1. There was a station near Burgess Park somewhere near John Ruskin Street or Grosvenor Terrace… only it was shut down in 1916 like the Camberwell one. If you look on Google satellite view you can still see where the platforms must have been.

  27. Those highly demanding competitive parents had children at Lyndhurst in the 90’s when our kids were there and then they all fucked off to Norfolk, Shropshire and East Dulwich. Hopefully the lot you are talking about, Dagmar, will do the same.
    I wish some one would correct my punctuation and thoughts.
    I am writing this in Scarborough overlooking the cricket ground and the seaside is full of people building sandcastles and going red and the crab sandwiches are delicious.
    Back to Camberwell via Kings X and the Hermit’s Cave tomorrow.

  28. Extraordinary evening of jazz with spontaneous and dodgy sixties dancing at The Crypt last night. The Deptford Rivieras trio of a Hammond, drums and sax belting out film scores and long forgotten tunes including Georgie Fame’s ‘Yeh yeh’. Marvellous

    Just to remind you..

  29. Jes — yeah apostrophes, eh. I want to not care, but I do.

    The Crypt has re-opened then? How is it?

    We went back to Maloko at the weekend. I liked it before, but I’m re-rating it upwards.

  30. I had a quick look at the planning permission docs for Denmark Hill’s revamp*.

    It seems that Network Rail didn’t send out consultation notice letters to anyone but English Heritage, and there was only one letter of response from the public about cycle parking.

    The walkway down to the new bridge, definitely don’t look like it does in the pictures. It looks like it was supposed to have Victorian cast iron railings.

    Definitely no sign of making the bridge go all the way across. Silly me for assuming that of course they would do that! Who would be so stupid as to not include that in the plan?!

    * Because I’m boring and nosy like that.

  31. Have to say I find that Pigeon Hole kickstarter request a bit odd. The idea is that you give them money so that they can start up a profit-making (presumably?) business, but you get no shares/equity, only a ‘complimentary’ hamper or whatever?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hardnosed Duncan Bannatyne type, it looks like it would be a nice shop (I hope it opens), and I understand the role of kickstarter when the project in question is not intended to be profitmaking or where you receive part ownership of the company in return, but this seems like a way to attempt to derive capital investment for free. Presumably a bank loan didn’t work out for whatever reason?

    Interesting critique of another (larger!) kickstarter project here:

  32. @sloth The way I see it is that banks just don’t loan to people any more, so people need to find another way to get capital.

    So, in this case by pledging £25 you get in return 3 lunches and coffees when they open. Considering that most decent sandwiches / salad / lunchy things cost about £6 and a coffee about £2.50, you a basically just giving a pledge to come and eat their when it opens. It won’t cost me any more than that, but I will have a (hopefully) nice place to eat when it opens.

    For me, it’s not about making money, profit, equity or so on. It’s about helping someone who I’ve met and think is lovely realise their ideas.

    If you want to make money, go to the city. If you want to make communities, Kickstarter et al is a good place to start.

  33. Hey

    that was a great night

    cryptic, crooked, pure jazz

    that was a great night, that was

    take it away


    over the slow

    walking bass

    another day

    on denmark hill

    thru the green

    to where

    one will.

  34. Dear fellow Camberwell onliners, if you have time next week please go along to House Gallery to visit The ‘FocusOut exhibition’ ( It opens on Monday 15th and is curated by local residents Anna Birney & Louise Armstrong. The exhibition encourages visitors to experience and question the world around them and explore how art can provide a space to explore what we love and focus out from now to the future.

    Along with the exhibition itself there will be a host of events including a special film screening of ‘Overviews by Planetary Collective on 16 July and a SUPPER CLUB with TOMTOM aka our very own monkeycat on the 18 July plus a private view for locals on Friday 19th

    There that is the end of my shameless plug for mrs NickW but would be great to see you at one of the events.

    The exhibition runs until 23 July.

  35. Can anyone else not sleep?

    First they say Camberwell will be the next volcano with a tsunami coming up Camberwell Grove. Then they say it’s the coldest day this week with the thermometer plunging to 28 degrees.

    Hard choice this lunchtime: either listen to Robert Mac-fucking-farlane on “Private Passions” on Radio 3, or to the cricket on TMS. A no-ball, I mean a no-brainer.

    Why are these people so feted? All they do is go coo-coo-coo. He even talked about “kinesis” meaning movement — something to do with going on a walk. Oh, it’s so kinesis, coo-coo.

    Iain Sinclair, the aptly-named Will Self — there they go, the chattering classes, clattering down the corridors of muddle-class culture all the way to the House of Lords.

    Is anyone else becoming deranged in this heat? Too tired to derive?

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