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Linking Taymount to Thorpewood
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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
03-05-2011 02:16 PM

Something that has been on my mind for the last 32 years...wouldn't it be good if there was a pedestrian route between Thorpewood Avenue and Taymount Rise?

There is a pedestrian path opposite Sainsburys that completely bypasses all of Taymount Rise, and Eliot Bank provides a link to Kirkdale, but to get to Eliot Bank you need to go down to the south circular.

There are four potential routes (none involve tunnels to Catford):
Just one garage appears to separate Forest Croft from Knapdale Close
A fence separates Taymount Grange from Shackleton Close
A wall separates Forest Holme Close from the path up
A garden and a wall separate Grassmount from Eliot Bank

My suggestion would be that a gateway is installed on one of these routes that is monitored by CCTV to improve security given these are all close to private (communal) property. Funding for a camera and monitoring could possibly be provided by Localities Funding, linked to Lewisham's CCTV network (if such a thing exists).

The advantage would be easy access for Taymount residents to Eliot Bank School (and Holy Trinity and Sydenham), Baxters Field and the swimming pool.

Does anybody know if the management committees of the four sites have considered opening a gateway?

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #2
03-05-2011 03:35 PM

There used to be a pathway through Forest Croft. The amount of anti-social behaviour and litter created, especially late at night, meant it had to be closed.

Two summers ago, some kids demolished a wall and the back of two of the garages in order to create their own little personal through-way: again, nuisance and antisocial behaviour caused bother around and in the building before palisade fencing could be put up to close the gap.

It's an absolute no-no.

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DerbyHillTop


Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #3
03-05-2011 04:36 PM

What a shame!

A large community is forced to go long way round to access local school, library and park with swings in because of few misguided individuals who have no respect for environment around them.

Surely the problem of antisocial behaviour needs to be addressed as much as the needs of local community.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #4
03-05-2011 05:07 PM

I agree DHT.
Surely there should not be No Go areas for law abiding citizens.
That would be a good cut through.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #5
03-05-2011 05:30 PM

Well, it's private land, so it's up to Forest Croft!

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #6
03-05-2011 05:32 PM

Quote:
The advantage would be easy access for Taymount residents to Eliot Bank School (and Holy Trinity and Sydenham), Baxters Field and the swimming pool


But would we who live in the area want them to have 'easy access', Michael? Are they nice sort of people?

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
03-05-2011 09:28 PM

Quote:
A wall separates Forest Holme Close from the path up


I will personally brick up any hole made in that wall.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
03-05-2011 10:09 PM

I wasn't aware that the Localities fund was for use for cctv on what are effectively private estates?

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
03-05-2011 10:17 PM

I was thinking of CCTV particularly on the path between Sainsburys and Shackleton Close (public land). Forest Holme Close is also an adopted road, as are a number of the other roads. But if there is no willingness from any of the roads or flats to contemplate a new gateway then any application for localities funding would be purely theoretical.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #10
03-05-2011 10:45 PM

Robin Orton: I don't think you meant that the way it reads - One of the glories of the UK is that "niceness" is not a condition of being able to learn to read and write, go to a swimming bath or a park! Laugh

On topic:

The long way round is a good half hour's walk with small children, quite strenuous in the steeper parts of that hill. I know - I've done it with shopping bags, and carrying a baby and heavy nappy bag. Not practical for very small legs (Eliot Bank and Holy Trinity being primary schools, the daily walk begins when they are 4 or 5 years old). "The Grand Old Duke of York" can only be sung so many times before it loses it's charm for all concerned! To add insult to injury, you can practically see your street through gaps in the fence, but know you still have a down and then a steep climb before you can reach it Crying

The even longer way round is flatter, but so long that it doesn't really encourage walking at all. Those needing to get kids to school, or the doctor (many of us up here are allocated to Wells Park Practice) on time, will almost certainly find the journey easier by car. With schools, this raises issues for those living on Thorpewood Avenue, who no doubt view the extra school traffic, and parking in the area as "anti-social", ie: "not nice".

In this day and age of cameras, Community Support Officers, electronic gating systems, pin numbers etc, surely there must be some way of making a sensible route secure enough to placate the likes of IWereAbsolutelyFuming (who I assume has concerns I would sympathise with, if not their method of expressing them)

IWere.... : Is there anything you can suggest which could make such a short-cut acceptable to you?

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
04-05-2011 11:20 AM

Quote:
IWere.... : Is there anything you can suggest which could make such a short-cut acceptable to you?


To be blunt, no. Which isn't to say that I don't understand why some people would welcome the opening up of one of the access points Michael highlighted. There are families in the street who have children at Eliot Bank School (indeed our son was originally due to go there) so I am aware that a cut through may offer some improvement to certain journeys. That said, those with kids at Eliot Bank and wooden fences bordering the path from London Road to Derby Hill Crescent haven't felt it necessary to install their own gate so it cant be that big a deal.

Forestholme Close is a cul-de-sac in its purest, non-permeable form in that it is a dead-end to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. That feature has its benefits and also attracts some criticism but that is how the street exists at present. My objection to opening up the wall is based on a number of reasons (in no particular order):


  1. The street is relatively diverse but is largely a 'family street' and as such kids play out in the street on a daily basis. The nature of the street means this is pretty safe as there is only one way in or out of the street by car or foot. Some parents are happy to let their kids out with no supervision but the majority of us are out there with them. That said, we're able to give them relative freedom without having to be right on top of them the whole time. Opening the wall would completely change that amenity.
  2. The street has a strong community feel, we have a fledgeling kids' allotment patch, communal green space and you know 90% of the people you see in the street. This adds to the sense of belonging and ability for us all to look out for each other and spot anything out of the ordinary.
  3. Changing the dynamic of the permeability of the street will alter the tranquillity of it. I can speak personally - but also know that a large number of my neighbours highly value how peaceful the street is - that a major factor in choosing to buy our house was that it was in a quiet cul de sac with no through access (having suffered 5 years in a flat on a noisy, long, busy street used as a cut through and next to an alleyway).
  4. The pathway mentioned earlier suffers from the various levels of 'antisocial behaviour' that you'd expect from a such a route - graffiti, litter, meetings for various illicit purposes, etc - which would undoubtedly spill on to the street if the wall was opened up. Local police have told us on a few occasions that the pathway is often used as an escape route following criminal activity all around it (including Taymount Rise and its various offshoots - via Forestholme Close and over the wall).
  5. I'd question quite how much benefit opening up one of the access points would actually provide. And I've made journeys by foot with my own two young kids to all the possible destinations mentioned.


We're very aware that we're extremely lucky to live in what is effectively a cul-de-sac off a cul-de-sac but we made the choice to live there for a reason. Providing the amenity of an access route removes a bunch of amenities that are already enjoyed.

So there you go, more than my two-penn'th but you did ask.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #12
04-05-2011 12:08 PM

I too live in a cul-de-sac (for cars), but we have a very well-used footpath at the far end. This is very convenient for us, and, more importantly, it produces few of the horrors which IWereAbsolutely Fuming is worried about. The street is quiet and friendly and there is little if any anti-social behaviour (touch wood). Admittedly, very young children are rarely allowed to play in the street unsupervised, but older kids kick a ball around sometimes which doesn't seem to bother anyone.

In my view there are advantages in terms of security in having the footpath at the end of the road. It means there are more people around, day and night, which I'm sure is a deterrent to vandalism, anti-social behaviour, street crime and opportunistic burglaries.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #13
04-05-2011 01:13 PM

Fair enough. People generally dislike change and I certainly place myself in that camp on this one.

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #14
05-05-2011 11:30 PM

I too live in this area and I echo all iwereabsolutelyfuming's earlier points and comments-i dont think a cut-though would benefit anyone except those out to cause problems. I would personally go and brick the wall back up.

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
06-05-2011 02:33 PM

Oh well, I can't say that I didn't expect this reaction and I do understand people's fear of crime and anti-social behaviour (not that it is absent from the hill today - see the charred remains of my shed for more details).

I just thought it would be nice to sort something out before my daughter has the same walk to primary school that I had.

On to plan B, I need to start digging an underground railroad to smuggle children out of SE23 and over the border to SE26. Failing this I will need to reconsider the giant catapult that I had initially ruled out due to the mess it might create.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #16
06-05-2011 03:03 PM

Only two of your 4 suggestions has met with resistance. Maybe 'the likes of' me don't live near your other options.

For what it's worth, my main reason for objecting to a gate in our wall is not crime but how it would alter the street's dynamic.

On a related note, I've been on the Rise for 8 years and only in the last few months discovered the pathway alongside the church and through to Park Hill. My kids love using it but I feel uncomfortable doing so, so rarely do (and not just because it is probably more of a 'long-cut').

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
06-05-2011 03:17 PM

The church path was part of my route to school in the spring. In the winter it is too muddy to be useful, and in summer it is virtually impassable due to stinging nettles.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #18
06-05-2011 03:21 PM

I can probably fairly categorically close down the link between Grassmount and Elliot Bank. Looking at it on the map that link isn't very helpful in getting towards the pool etc...wrong direction and up hill!

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ukulele_lady


Posts: 25
Joined: May 2010
Post: #19
07-05-2011 07:15 PM

I know crime is all over the place, but I believe that a path such as this would encourage more in the Taymount area as it's a fairly remote place.
Although I'd love a path as a short cut I can completely understand why one would be potentially asking for trouble.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
07-05-2011 08:31 PM

Quote:
i dont think a cut-though would benefit anyone except those out to cause problems

Quote:
Although I'd love a path as a short cut I can completely understand why one would be potentially asking for trouble

This is all a bit depressing - the idea that anything that allows people to move around more freely is a threat. It sounds rather as if the ideal would be gated communities, some for nice people and some for the criminal element, with the keys to both being firmly in the custody of the nice people.

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