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Forest Hill Station car restrictions
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rbmartin


Posts: 879
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
08-08-2022 06:06 PM

From what I understand, London Overground in conjunction with the Forest Hill Society are trialling the closure of the eastern end of the station drive used to pick up and drop off passengers.

This means the the exit is closed with cars and taxis having to use the same entrance at the western half of the station where the main car park is for three months.

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 518
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #2
08-08-2022 11:15 PM

I did wonder what was going on there with the planters in the way.

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BackOnceAgain


Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2022
Post: #3
10-08-2022 10:24 AM

I think it would be fairer to say that the Forest Hill Society in conjunction with Lewisham Council, who are also funding the trial. There's quite a discussion taking place across FHsoc social media channels.

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HannahM


Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2022
Post: #4
10-08-2022 04:53 PM

As a pedestrian and regular user of Forest Hill station, it makes for a significantly better and safer user experience.

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BackOnceAgain


Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2022
Post: #5
10-08-2022 05:56 PM

As a daily user of the station, as both a driver and pedestrian it hasn't been a better user experience for me or numerous other users I have taken the time to talk to.

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HannahM


Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2022
Post: #6
10-08-2022 06:33 PM

Ahh well, experiences differ. I enjoy not being forced on to the crowded and badly maintained pavement or risk being nudged by a idling car.

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BackOnceAgain


Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2022
Post: #7
10-08-2022 07:10 PM

Quite. But I have to say, I've never seen the pavement crowded as most pedestrians use the 'road' by choice, that said the pavement is narrow. Perhaps the answer is to move the under utilised bike rack to another part of the car park and widen the pavement. What would have been really useful was a period of real consultation where ideas could have been shared and a range of options put forward that benefit all users.

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rbmartin


Posts: 879
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
11-08-2022 12:28 AM

The whole station front needs remodelling which allows safe access for passengers who walk across from the traffic lights which still enables cars to be able to pick up those less able or with heavy luggage.

Where the cycle rack is with the newspaper bins is a mess and has put off people from walking on that bit of pavement and use the drive instead.

I'd also knock down the station building, but that's another topic!

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borderpaul


Posts: 91
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #9
11-08-2022 09:38 AM

As most people have said, walking into the station has always been an obstacle course, walk behind the bike stands, formerly past the piano and coffee stand then come to the bottleneck between the ticket machines and oversized redbrick wall enclosed planter which normally forces you into the road to get round it and then into the station entrance. I take the easy route on the road out of choice. I want to get through there in 20 seconds

The pavement should be the easy route, remove the obstacles, move and improve the bike stands and oversized planter to make it work and fix the toilet as well.

As for the cars, logic would dictate that it will be more difficult and probably lead to people dropping off and collecting elsewhere.

This post was last modified: 11-08-2022 09:43 AM by borderpaul.

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HannahM


Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2022
Post: #10
11-08-2022 10:23 AM

I agree that the whole frontage need re modelling, I'd get rid of that strange walled planted area and turn that whole space in to a pedestrian zone/bike park with a better area for the coffee stand and ticket machines, then to the car park area to the left can be improved with a safe dropping off area. It should favour pedestrians though. Most passengers who use Forest Hill station arrive and leave on foot, of course there will be people with heavy luggage or mobility issues who need to be dropped off but dropping people off just to the left is fine in my view. There are very very few stations where people can be dropped off right outside the entrance. Often these areas are reserved for taxi ranks or buses.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,375
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
11-08-2022 10:49 AM

My solution would be to make a stopping bay for buses by using part of the car park. Also cars and taxis could drop passengers there. This would go a long way to segregating vehicles and people. I think most people don't walk on the pavement because it is too narrow and not the shortest route to the station entrance.

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clausy


Posts: 72
Joined: Mar 2014
Post: #12
11-08-2022 12:18 PM

Yes this is a 3 month trial. FHSoc want to solicit feedback and ideas. We did work with TfL on this too, only the funding and approval of the scheme came from Lewisham. Obviously we would like a longer term solution for the whole forecourt.

Yes we have discussed plans to move the bike racks to the car park. Ideally the car park could be turned into a better drop off area with blue badge parking only. There is a huge largely unused car park on the Perry Vale side. TfL are putting out a new tender soon, so we will be meeting with them to discuss whether that is feasible - there are all kinds of Network Rail charters about station parking, although other stations seem to be managing to make changes.

The toilet which has been defunct for a few rears and is in a state of disrepair is going to be removed, hopefully by Lewisham soon - that’s not part of the NCIL funding btw. Ideally we could then put in a nice turning circle for cars and remove the exit barrier that currently protects cars parked down the entrance/exit road - and those 4 spaces would go too. Plus install things like a drinking water fountain (London Mayor has a big push to install these at stations - I think they’re at 100 and counting so far so we should try to get one) and also a bike pump. Further ideas welcome.

So long story short, drop FHSoc some email feedback - first step is to get the 3 month trial to made permanent before we can look at making other improvements.

The NCIL fund for the planters and then further redevelopment is phased based on this becoming permanent too. We also need to co-ordinate with TfL but hopefully we can turn this into a nice space for pedestrians and make it easier for motorists to drop off and turn around while preserving parking for people with accessibility needs. I should point out again that cars can still drop off people with mobility issues right by the station entrance contrary to some comments on social media. Then turn around.

If the road is re-opened then we can put the planters on the platform or even use them for further trials elsewhere. Might be interesting trying to push them uphil though..!

Next steps are that we have an FHSoc meeting 1st Sept to review things after 1 month, and publish some potential plans shortly afterwards for comment. We’ll also be setting up a proper online survey-monkey form to collect feedback. It largely depends on what TfL can/will do in terms of the car park tender too. Obviously this is a temporary scheme so it looks a bit ugly - we of course will be looking to improve the design for both motorists and pedestrians, but we need to get it made permanent first.

Happy to get more feedback as I said, thanks for all the comments so far.

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HannahM


Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2022
Post: #13
11-08-2022 04:37 PM

My experience is very positive so far - It was nice to see people sitting outside the coffee kiosk this morning having a drink in the sun.

The caveat being I am a pedestrian user of Forest Hill station so have no need for a car park or drop off area (if I have heavy luggage I am going on holiday, so tend to get a cab straight from my home to the airport/main rail terminal)

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samuelsen


Posts: 372
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #14
11-08-2022 04:44 PM

What happened to the plans to totally redevelop the station, i.e. demolish and replace with a station building that is much more suitable?

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clausy


Posts: 72
Joined: Mar 2014
Post: #15
11-08-2022 05:42 PM

Got to start somewhere Smile

It’s such a big project. We don’t really have the resources to organise it.
We’re always looking for volunteers to put together a team, or if anyone knows a developer who would be interested. Problem is the land and leases are owned by so many different people…

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BackOnceAgain


Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2022
Post: #16
11-08-2022 05:45 PM

So, to surmise, whatever the feedback the FHsoc won't be recommending reverting to separate entrance and exits, our aim is to remove all parking except a few token blue badge spaces, install a water fountain and get a bike pump.

Any chance of a public meeting to discuss the issue?

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clausy


Posts: 72
Joined: Mar 2014
Post: #17
12-08-2022 06:34 AM

You can certainly suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it.

However, to summarise, we will be collecting feedback towards the end of the trial to present back to Lewisham and TfL before any decision is made. Of course as part of that process it makes sense to present proposals for a future state that works better for all station users.

If you would like to organise a public meeting I can put you in touch with the local Community Development Officer - drop us an email@foresthillcosiety.com

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clausy


Posts: 72
Joined: Mar 2014
Post: #18
12-08-2022 08:03 AM

email@foresthillsociety.com oops 🙂

This post was last modified: 12-08-2022 08:03 AM by clausy.

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blushingsnail


Posts: 371
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #19
16-08-2022 05:57 PM

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line - that's why people cut across the road and don't take an L-shaped walk along the pavement.

I assume whoever thought up this idea approaches the station from the WHSmith side? Because people approaching from the other side (eg from the buses that stop outside Leaders) don't have any benefit from it. If anything they're probably hampered occasionally by vehicles at a standstill trying to navigate in/out of the car park at the same time. Although I think FHSoc would ideally close the entire car park, so perhaps that gives ammunition to their argument.

Do we really need more planters in Forest Hill? They need to be watered with watering cans and the existing ones are burdensome enough.

If you want to make quick improvements, replace the planter on the left bricked square with a smaller one so that people (ie me!) can sit on the brick walls again (for shade while waiting for trains in the morning). And get the station to move the notice board they put up across the window next to the right bricked square - it obliterates the view of the platform which means you can't see when a train is arriving. The platform announcements aren't broadcast at the front of the station so you need a sightline to the platform to see the train pulling in.

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BackOnceAgain


Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2022
Post: #20
17-08-2022 03:59 PM

If you would like to leave feedback on the car park restrictions you can contact TFL directly,

TFL feedback

It is not the most user friendly form but worth persevering with if you want your views to be heard.

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