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Forest Hill Underpass
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Erekose


Posts: 553
Joined: May 2010
Post: #1
04-07-2011 09:23 PM

What would really improve FH would be to upgrade the revolting underpass below it. Why this cannot be organised is beyond me. I recall arguments a few (10 maybe+?) years about who actually has responsibility for this eyesore but maybe one of our local elected representatives could make it a cause? Oh yes and a safe crossing point south of the station? I know that Highways argue that it is not safe to have a proper crossing here but the upgraded road actually seems to have increased traffic speed as the humps are smoother and lower than before. The only really safe time to cross is when the traffic is at a standstill...

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michael


Posts: 3,220
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
04-07-2011 09:45 PM

Erekose,
You'll find the latest news about the underpass in the Forest Hill Society newsletter (page 5) which are being currently being distributed to members.

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Johnc


Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #3
05-07-2011 08:10 AM

If you haven't seen the newsletter, it basically says that plans are being formalised for the new cladding and lighting plus surface and drainage improvements. It does go on to say however that the subway may need to be closed for a month or 2 while work is progressing

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Erekose


Posts: 553
Joined: May 2010
Post: #4
05-07-2011 12:00 PM

Excellent news. It must be around 20 years since I first wrote a complaining letter about the state of the underpass..........I hope it will be worth the wait.
Any sign of the trees which were supposed to be planted in the pavement south of the underpass?

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #5
12-08-2011 11:19 AM

Hey

Noticed that certain areas on the ground under the underpass have been outlined with spray-paint - presume these are areas to be fixed up as the footway is all broken up. Does anyone know when we will be getting new subway wall facades? I HATE that graffiti - makes the gateway to FH so gritty and dirty..

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FHSoc


Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #6
12-08-2011 01:14 PM

Network Rail and Lewisham are planning on refurbishing the underpass. This will involve resurfacing work, cladding some of the walls and ceiling, improved lighting and better drainage and CCTV.

We received plans for the cladding in mid July (see below) and it became apparent that no improvements were to be made to the steps, despite earlier assurances. We are still lobbying Network Rail for handrails to be fitted on both sides of the steps to Dartmouth Road and the existing handrails at both ends to be replaced.

There is still some discussion as to what should happen to the mural. In June we were told

Quote:
The last item to be carried out will be preparing the wall for the mural. NWR has agreed that the existing graffiti can be painted out, using industrial specification brickwork paint, ready for the mural to be painted by other parties.


After further lobbying from the Forest Hill Society, Lewisham applied for 245,000 for Forest Hill under phase one of the Mayor's Outer London Fund. 10,000 of this was for

Quote:
Design options for the underpass. Network Rail and LBL are carrying out essential maintenance to the underpass in August 2011. This will fix drainage problems and essentially whitewash the surfaces. [They are actually using vitreous enamel panels which are designed to eliminate graffiti as the spray paints/felt tip pens will not adhere] We propose to carry out a design study to look at how to enhance this area looking at the entrances, walls and lighting. The precedent for these works is the recently completed New Cross underpass

Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in this bid, gaining the second lowest overall grant of 125,000 (for Catford). We will be working with them on a Phase Two funding application which is for upto 2M per place, but that is a topic for another thread.

In light of the proposed improvements to the section under the tracks, what do you think should happen to the mural? Should it simply be painted over, should a new one commissioned? What would you like to see it replaced by? Please bear in mind that we have to find funds for this work from somewhere as the works already proposed have consumed the section 106 monies from Berkley Homes. We have suggested that the panels had some relevant designs on them (similar to Wapping/Rotherhithe) and that the panels were extended to cover the mural, but were told this was too expensive.

Further lobbying is required...



Attached File(s)
.pdf File  UnderpassCladding.pdf (Size: 235.98 KB / Downloads: 191)
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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #7
12-08-2011 02:35 PM

Id love to see panels as per the tube stations..however, just plain panelling/cladding would be SO much nicer than the graffiti...

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Erekose


Posts: 553
Joined: May 2010
Post: #8
14-08-2011 07:57 PM

Have grown rather attached to the mural over the years but it does look a little tired now.
Not upgrading the stairs at both ends is a real shame as they have been pooly repaired sevearl times in the past with little effect.
Anyone know if the trees are ever going to appear in the pavement on the south side?

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #9
14-08-2011 10:25 PM

We have been clearly promised a full refurbishment of the subway repeatedly and over a number of years. Funding to do the job has been identified, including money obtained as part of the Berkeley Homes development under a Section 106 agreement. Work was expected to start in September.

Resurfacing of the subway including work to the steps has always been seen as an integral part of the job as has replacement of all of the lighting (which the Forest Hill Society was told would be done under a new Council PFI contract). Upgrading handrails to modern standards has been assumed to be part of the job if a refurbishment is being undertaken, even if the only ones that have been specified in Council Minutes are those at the Perry Vale end which are clearly rotting away. The project has been delayed for a very long time supposedly to allow plans to be drawn up and all the various elements involving Network Rail, Lewisham Council and contractors to be coordinated. As the shortcomings in the plans become evident, I feel sure that all the Councillors who have made public statements about the subway will be doing their best to ensure that what is delivered meets all reasonable public expectations. In my view, as a minimum these must include full resurfacing including a proper refurbishment of the steps, sorting out the drainage, cladding the tunnel section, replacing all the lighting, provision of handrails meeting modern standards and appropriate treatment to the areas covered by murals (whatever that may involve). I would hope we would end up with a subway comparable with those we would find in a refurbished Tube station or one of the new Overground stations.

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
15-08-2011 08:45 AM

Recall when the handrails were 'replaced' at the WH Smiths end? Lo and behold, no handrails.

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goater


Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2011
Post: #11
15-08-2011 09:48 AM

Work on the underpass started this morning!

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #12
15-08-2011 10:04 AM

The reality is that there were never any side handrails at the W H Smith's end until temporary ones were provided by Network Rail whilst the footbridge was being rebuilt. For some strange reason they took them away when the footbridge was opened (and disconnected their additional lighting). However, building regulations require handrails both sides of a stairway that is more than 1 metre wide - which this certainly is. Whilst Network Rail and Lewisham could argue that building regulations don't apply to these stairs, they won't look good in Court if someone falls down the stairs and injures themselves for want of a handrail, just after they have done a refurbishment.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #13
15-08-2011 10:09 AM

Yes, there is no reason why the panels can't have decoration on them like the ones on the Overground Stations. These haven't been been covered in graffiti (infact many underpasses that have decoration on don't).

The I believe enamel panels for those stations were made in London (we used the company that makes the Underground enamel signs when we designed the signage for Billings in Sydenham).

The question is, what should the graphics be? I'm sure if you get together you can influence what you will get.

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #14
15-08-2011 10:30 AM

It would be great to see decorated/pictures on the enamel panels - but Im pretty pessimistic about it! Would be great to see pictures of local attractions or landmarks in FH..could include the pools, the Capitol, Horniman Museum, reference to the the canal, reference to the old grand station building, the grand victorian buildings that line some of streets..anything really that gives a local emphasis!

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #15
15-08-2011 01:09 PM

Quote:
However, building regulations require handrails both sides of a stairway that is more than 1 metre wide


In which case I look forward to the day I break my neck on the German footbridge, as Lewisham deliberately removed all the higher handrails on this footbridge on the pretext that it allowed a foothold for some yobbo to climb onto the outside of the bridge, which would be dangerous for him!!

As for the mural - just jet spray it away - what is wrong with clean brickwork showing?
The metal cladding for the underpass sounds expensive - cant they just damp-proof and seal the original brickwork and plug the leaks?

Plus this underpass needs to have disability access - the pavement is wide enough now on perry vale to provide a ramp, and a lift can be installed on the other end as discussed before.

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
16-08-2011 07:39 AM

Good reminder about the German Bridge; really if someone really wanted to climb over I think they will manage it with or without the handrail.

Underpass - I'm sure there used to be a metal bannister on at least the WH Smith side which was replaced by the short-lived wooden effort, forgive me if I am wrong.

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jalapeno


Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2005
Post: #17
16-08-2011 03:59 PM

Underpass was closed off at lunchtime.
Does anyone know if it's open again yet, or will it be closed now for a few days?
Thanks.

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andrewr


Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #18
16-08-2011 04:22 PM

PVP - I've looked hard for any evidence of fixings for side handrails prior to the temporary one - but failed to find any. They aren't evident as marks in the brickwork and I haven't found any photos showing them. Happy to be proved wrong though.

Jalapeno - I'm trying hard to get information on what is happening from Lewisham Council. We (in the Forest Hill Society) thought we had an undertaking that the subway would be re-surfaced (amongst many other improvements) and are very concerned that piecemeal filling of potholes is taking place. All the improvements should have been taking place during a properly planned and notified closure of the subway.

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