A safer Camberwell Green; Camberwell Station; and Camberwell Yards

Before I get started with the latest news round up, a quick word of apology for some misinformation in my previous post. I read about the proposed Camberwell Yards temporary development (more on that later) and saw it described as ‘box park’, which I (mis-)understood to be the actual Boxpark rather than a similar concept. To be clear: Camberwell Yards is a box park rather than the Boxpark. I corrected my post shortly after publication, but some people had already read it and reacted to it before my correction was made. For that, I’m sorry. And from now on, I’ll be referring to it as a container village.

Now, on with the news.

Safer Camberwell Green

This week TfL opened a new public consultation on their proposed changes to Camberwell Green, aimed at making it safer after it was named as one of 73 junctions in London with unacceptable collision records. You can see the main proposals in the images below, or download a PDF for higher resolution.

Many of the proposed changes involve widening pavements—especially welcome for bus stop L outside London Food & Wine on Church Street—and pedestrian crossings. The traffic islands to the north, east, and south of the Green junction will be slightly shifted and expanded to accommodate the new wider crossings.

More substantial changes include the traffic lights at the junction of Church Street with Grove Lane / Artichoke Place, which will be removed and replaced with a signal crossing some 15m west, nearer Sophocles. The signal crossing at the junction of Denmark Hill and Orpheus Street will be moved north, nearer to Butterfly Walk (this was originally announced a few years ago).

There will be a new signal crossing on Camberwell Road, from the mouth of Camberwell Passage to the Green. This will involve moving bus stop E 35m to the north.

The bus stop on the corner of Vicarage Grove and Church Street will also be moved some 9m west, sort of opposite Lumberjack, to make it safer to turn left—especially for cyclists.

Cyclists will also benefit from changes to the Green junction, with early release lights and 5m advanced stop lines (which I can tell you from experience are barely obeyed by a not unsubstantial proportion of motorists). There will also be two-stage right turns for cyclists turning right onto Denmark Hill or Camberwell Road.

Finally, there will be a new cycle lane on Church Street heading west across the Green junction.

Map of proposed changes to Camberwell New Road
Camberwell New Road and west of Camberwell Green
Map of proposed changes to Camberwell Church Street
Camberwell Church Street and east of Camberwell Green
Map of proposed changes to Camberwell Road
Camberwell Road and lower Denmark Hill
Map of proposed changes to Camberwell Green junction
Camberwell Green junction

I think these are pretty decent proposals, but I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks—and hope that if you have strong feelings about any of the changes, you let TfL know before 3rd September.

Camberwell Station

Southwark News have reported that the report into the proposed reopening of Camberwell Station has been pushed back by a few months, with a TfL spokesperson saying of a meeting between Network Rail, TfL, LB Southwark:

They’ve decided it needs a bit of extra work. It was a consensus of opinion between the three at the meeting. It will take a couple of months. Then it will need signing off again.

An article in a recent issue of Future Rail magazine, The Fight For Camberwell, has some interesting background on the reopening campaign, not least that Denmark Hill station saw some seven million passenger journeys in 2015–16—almost double the number from 2010-11.

Camberwell Yards

Southwark News also have a little more information on Camberwell Yards, the container village proposed for the small car park / loading bay behind Morrisons.

The reaction I’ve seen on Facebook & Twitter has been mixed, with many against it on principle because “it’s gentrification”. Which, to me, isn’t much of an argument because we don’t have any idea yet of what’s going to go in it, and the idea that ‘container village = gentrification’ smacks of dogma.

As an idea of what it could do for the area, the new Peckham Levels—set to open in the former car park above the cinema on Rye Lane this October—will host 70 businesses / organisations, of which 75% are from Peckham itself, and a further 10% from across Southwark. One of those businesses is our own Nandine, the Kurdish cafe on Vestry Road.

If the (much smaller) Camberwell Yards also supports local businesses in that way, I wouldn’t be against it at all.


Author: Peter

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

8 thoughts on “A safer Camberwell Green; Camberwell Station; and Camberwell Yards”

  1. We went to Nandine twice in a week. Good deal. Recommended. Lots of vegetarian and vegan food.

    Frank’s (Peckham) is very unfashionable as it only really does meat stuff, at high prices. A bit like the Camberwell Arms. A good match, then.

    The Camberwell Junction improvements are under-whelming. Better than nothing, maybe. Didn’t this all get announced a few years ago?

    1. Was originally announced in 2015, this is a second proposal based on feedback. Largely improves the cycling conditions around the Green junction, which were pretty poor in the original proposal.

    2. Good news. The vegetarians in our house will be delighted. And not far to go, saving on even more calories.

  2. It doesn’t look amazing for cycling (understatement), but maybe it is slightly better than what’s there now. Also for peds, who really need more space and better crossings, any improvement is better than none. But fundamentally it’s unambitious and won’t do much to reduce congestion, fumes, noise, and so on. You still have three lanes of traffic entering the junction on three sides

    I understand it’s a tough problem because maybe there isn’t quite room for dedicated cycle lanes through the junction. Nevertheless, I count 12 lanes of traffic entering the junction and nine exiting it. This is a poor effort, I’m afraid. Not much changed from two years ago.

  3. The early releases for cyclists are good, they work well for everyone. The push-button pedestrian crossing opposite the Cave is a radical idea — it all depends of the frequency. The one on Denmark Hill nearish the Co-op is the People’s Crossing par excellence. You press that button, the whole of London traffic comes to a halt and you get to design the garden bridge of your choice. Viva!

  4. Any improvements at Camberwell Green must be designed to keep traffic moving because the result is just more pollution and it just cant get any worse. Putting in more signal crossings and traffic lights is necessary but just increases pollution .

    Making the pavements wider at London food and Wine will make no difference until they take away the bus / drunk stop outside the shop ( taking away the shops licence will solve all problems ) get rid of the piles of rubbish and bins and stop shops expanding into the street . It really is a disgrace and its all man made. ..maybe even move the bus stop and get rid of the taxi rank where in 20 years I have never managed to get a taxi as its just a parking space for them. They should have thought about the cycle safety when they did the green and not put cycle racks just where the bus doors open.

    Re the 5m advanced stop lines for cyclists . Cant quite see the need for them as in my experience a not unsubstantial proportion of cyclists just ignore them and go through the red lights !…just saying

    1. Some cyclists do jump the lights, Diana (although not many at this junction), but that’s no reason not to care about the safety of those who don’t. Quite the opposite in fact — if only Esther Hartsilver HAD jumped the lights she wouldn’t have been crushed by a truck whose driver couldn’t see her because of the road and vehicle design.

      Pollution is a major problem, I agree, but it’s unlikely to be solved around Camberwell Green by trying to cater for more motor traffic. I’m not sure there are many simple adjustments (e.g.to lighting phasing or banning or allowing certain turns) which would help much. And even if you could allow more traffic through the Green, it is likely to back up somewhere else — around KCH and on Walworth Road in particular.

      A better solution might be to reduce the number of under-occupied vehicles — some possibly being buses at certain times (made easier by the hopper fare) but most particularly cars with only one occupant. There are lots and lots of those, and they aren’t all infirm or carrying large loads.

      Encouraging more people to cycle, and providing safe conditions to do so, should be part of the solution. As should punishment of bad cycling — but that’s a different issue, and a less serious one than widespread poor driving (particularly using handheld mobiles).

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