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Forest Hill Station Subway
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Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #1
27-04-2012 09:57 AM

Hi all,

I know this has been raised countless times before - but does anybody know if ANYTHING is going to happen to the subway at FH Station? It is getting worse and worse..even the graffiti 'art' has been graffitied over with pen/paint and it looks pretty awful as a first impression to FH. Also..more often than not, the lights don't work (rain?) and it is pitch black when you walk through there which obviously is dangerous and unsafe..

I really cant believe that it has been allowed to get in the state it is in..surely Lewisham/TfL/LOROL has the money to improve it given how busy the station/town centre is?

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Posts: 3,244
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
27-04-2012 10:41 AM

In the last week you may have noticed that the lighting has improved, with lights on both sides now working.
This is good, but the improved lighting only highlights the general poor condition of the subway.

Network Rail and Lewisham Council do have plans to improve the subway, including some funding coming from the flats that were built a couple of years ago. But this is a slow process and local councillors, together with Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies, have to keep asking for updates on the work.

It has taken a very long time to get not very far, but it is reasonable to believe that improvements will be made - eventually.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
28-04-2012 11:43 AM

Some of the funding Michael refers to is s106 monies secured, as part of the Planning Approval, from the developers of what is now City Walk.

Unfortunately LB Lewisham's record in managing the spend of such monies on the projects or schemes for which they were intended is appallingly poor.

Obfuscation and prevarication often leads to the monies being diluted and dissipated as a result of their inability to make timely decisions. This inability also impacts on the partners with whom they must negotiate, for example the developers, TOC's and Network Rail.

Any seasoned eye would quickly conclude that amongst other works, the subway surface needs complete renewal. It is uneven, presents hazards and generally creates an uncared for look. In fact what was delivered was patch repairs to very small areas of the total surface.

It cannot be coincidental that along with lack of progress on the subway, that plans for soft plantings included in the developer's plans for the Perry Vale side public footpath and that formed part of the Planning Approval were never delivered.

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Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #4
29-04-2012 06:55 AM

This is the first thing I'd change in Forest Hill. It's one of the first things visitors see.

Is there anyway we can exert pressure on the relevant parties to make changes?

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Posts: 627
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
29-04-2012 01:17 PM

I think this is crying out for some public art - something with a relief, as this would deter graffiti.

This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 01:17 PM by lacb.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
29-04-2012 07:55 PM

It did have some public art done by a local youth group years ago- is it not still there? Some people think that graffitti can be an urban art form.

I have lived here since 1985 and used the underpass everyday until 1999- changes have been promised all this time with issues of its multiownership being used as reasons for nothing happening. I am not therefore that optimistic unfortunately even with s106 monies.

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Posts: 93
Joined: May 2008
Post: #7
30-04-2012 08:13 AM

would be great if the underpass could act a a blank canvas and different artwork can be displayed as at the entrance to Havelock walk

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Posts: 3,244
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
30-04-2012 08:29 AM

I'm with Stefan.
The graffiti-style art has been up for about 15 years. It should have been replaced long ago, but it is difficult to do this as people think that others will be upset.

When we have an improved drip-free subway, with cladding and strong lighting, it would be a great place for temporary art work and imagery from the Horniman collection.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
30-04-2012 01:08 PM

Surely safety is the main concern here. The lights were out for nearly 2 weeks during the Easter period, just after - assume it was the Council? - upgraded them. The subway subsequently became a magnet for rough sleepers and was impossible to use after about 5pm when it got dark.

The time it took to fix was a disgrace!!!

If it's all about budgets, spend less on an elected Mayor's office (salary of 79k a year, plus 15k expenses for all members of the cabinet - can you believe it?) and more on keeping the streets safe and clean (a lick of paint once every couple of months wouldnt go a miss)!

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
30-04-2012 01:40 PM

Hi Roz

Whilst I have not seen the history (or is it historic) aspects of this thread and with some background in how these things work, multi-ownership is rarely the issue.

It is more likely the case that the underpass will belong either to the operational railway estate or it will belong to the local authority.

Less rarely (but not common), disputes do arise about who that owner actually is and correspondingly who has the maintenance and upkeep obligations.

If this type of dispute is in play - shame on the respective parties as they probably have had ample time to work out a resolution, (it has been 18 years since British Rail was privatised in April 1994).

On a contributory note as to what actually may be done, there is a lot of of local history that could be depicted in a mural or montage - the original canal, the pear orchards, the links to Ashberry Cottage, 18th C home of William Duke of Clarence, later King William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan and other historically famous individuals and so on.

There are plenty of people who contribute here who could more positively argue the merits of inclusion of these type of depictions than me.

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Posts: 820
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #11
30-04-2012 04:52 PM

Ashberry Cottage, 18th C home of William Duke of Clarence, later King William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan

I'm fairly sure that on one one these historical walks a few years ago, we were told that there is no evidence to back this up.

But sure, you can plater murals of the Duke, Dorothea, Boadicea, the FH lock, the panther and the German embassy all over the subway for all I care, if it means it finally gets some money spent on it.

This post was last modified: 30-04-2012 04:53 PM by Perryman.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
30-04-2012 05:03 PM

Let's start with a maintenance contract on the lights and a slap of paint on the walls.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #13
30-04-2012 05:25 PM

No, we don't want a slap of paint on the walls. That is just masking the problem. It needs proper cladding, like those smart metal panels London Underground uses.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #14
30-04-2012 08:04 PM

Engraved cladding perhaps.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #15
30-04-2012 08:07 PM

..and non-slip paving of course with matching covering for the steps at both ends.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #16
30-04-2012 08:24 PM

Ooh, jg, you're making me drool.

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Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #17
01-05-2012 08:46 AM

just to say this was on the Sydenham Society's radar from at least 2006. Before the formation of the FH Soc, the Syd Soc used to look after Forest Hill's interests too. There was an initial agreement between the Syd Soc and FH Soc that because the subway issue was getting quite protracted, that the Syd Soc would continue its campaign to its conclusion. (I have no idea what the sitaution is today)
So representations about the subway have been made to the rail operator and the Council over many years, but with very slow progression in terms of what works need doing and who was going to take (financial)responsibility.

Keep an eye on the Sydenham Society's website in case they have any more information

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #18
01-05-2012 07:06 PM

If there is something to be done to the subway, please can we avoid what's happened to the one by Herne Hill station?

They've applied cladding, but the finish (anti-graffiti, I presume) is like Artex and just as attractive (not!) An opportunity missed. Let's not go the same way.

This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 07:06 PM by shzl400.

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Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #19
02-05-2012 05:19 PM

We have a meeting with the council on Monday 14 May to discuss the latest proposals for the underpass. We will let you know the outcome.

This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 05:19 PM by FHSoc.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
02-05-2012 07:03 PM

Had a quick look at the Sydenham site

Then I spotted that the item was dated July 2011 with proposals that work be carried out between September and October 2011 - at that point a delay of some four years.

Four things emerge; it looks as if specifications had been agreed for the cladding; agreed for the lighting; installation of CCTV seemed integral to the proposal and Network Rail (NR) had committed to obtaining a Temporary Closure for the subway for the duration of the works.

Less clear was what specification was to be applied to the subway floor surfaces and steps - and if my memory is correct we have an existing CCTV system installed - so is the CCTV system being upgraded and to where will it be connected. Are there any outstanding track-bed drainage issues to be resolved ?

Can anyone provide a link to where an up-to-date proposal and specification is located ?

Has a current project timeline been approved and is NR's Temporary Closure application still current? Is the necessary funding still in place and under what organisation's auspices is the work to be carried out - NR or LBL?

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