Local residents are invited to get involved with Community Roadwatch in Beckenham. CCARA Chair, Cllr Chloe-Jane Ross is reinvigorating our local road watch and the team will be going out next week. If you are keen to get involved as a CCARA Community Roadwatch volunteer please get in contact by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Roadwatch is a road safety initiative which aims to reduce speeding in residential areas. Community Roadwatch gives local residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams, and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles in their communities. Warning letters will be issued where appropriate, and the information can help to inform the future activity of local police teams.
Note: this is the third in a series of posts summarising the results of the local travel survey conducted by CCARA and Bromley Living Streets in late 2021. For more information about the survey, click here: CCARA Local Travel Survey.
Beckenham High Street is an important part of the community, with shops, parks, community facilities and access to bus and rail services. The travel survey asked residents how they travel to Beckenham High Street, and what they use the High Street for. As summarised in earlier posts, the survey received 1,012 responses which were distributed across the local area, shown below.
Responses to the survey showed that walking is the most common mode of travel to access Beckenham High Street, followed by private car, bus and bicycle. It is notable that retired residents are much more likely to take the bus, compared to other groups, and families with school-age children are much more likely to cycle.
Responses to the question on how residents use Beckenham High Street showed that it is popular across a range of uses, making it possible for residents to stay local when doing their grocery shopping, going out for meals and going to public events. Families with school-age children are more likely to visit restaurants or cafes, or to visit parks, churches or local events, while retired residents are slightly more likely than average to access public transport.
Finally, the survey responses included a wide range of comments on the High Street, summarised below to reflect the range of views on parks, shopping, streets and traffic.
Parks and green spaces
“Loved the Beckenham Green Cinema last summer. Enjoyed the parks around Beckenham, especially Beckenham Place Park. Would love to attend public events there as well”
“St George’s Green Space is more accessible and user friendly, and looks attractive”
“Beckenham Place Park is a wonderful facility, despite many having discovered it during lockdown it still remains a lovely outdoor space”
Shopping and amenities
“Beckenham High Street is much better after being re-done a few years ago, although it was even nicer when the high-street parking was closed creating more walking space (and less traffic issues with parking)“
“Beckenham High Street has also had a lease of life BUT we need more normal shops not just cafes, eateries and beauty places – really welcome the new butcher shop”
“Good variety of restaurants and pubs, as well I love the fact that we have Waitrose, M&S, Lidl and Sainsburys shops nearby”
“Please reopen the public conveniences. The few cafes that had a community toilet sticker in the window have removed them. Sainsbury’s toilers are often shut or in use. The cinema is shut in the morning”
“I used to use the [public toilets] on the High Street next to Kelsey House when walking or running locally. The community toilet scheme is good but only works when those businesses are open”
Streets and traffic
“Efforts have been made to make the High Street COVID-safer, but allowing parking on the High Street makes it more hazardous for pedestrians”
“There isn’t enough public seating. I enjoy walking but given I am getting old I would sometimes like to take short breaks when walking to Bromley”
“Nice open spaces but pavements blocked by pavement tables from restaurants”
“Parking in Village Way car park is very convenient and there is rarely lack of space”
“Lack of dropped kerbs is a problem only when pushing the family member who uses a wheelchair. I had to push her down the middle of the road the other day because there was nowhere I could get her back onto the pavement easily”
“At the Southend Road crossing over towards Waitrose, the dropped kerb is too steep for a wheelchair user to use safely on their own”
“Cycling infrastructure is non existent. Painting a white line on the road does not create a safe cycle lane. It needs a strategy and some joined up thinking about creating useful safe routes”
“There is not enough disabled parking, but also, disabled bays now have a grey, rough and rugged surface – totally unsuited for those with mobility problems as it interferes with a person’s balance etc.”
“Air pollution due to queueing traffic is bad at particular pinch points, i.e. Beckenham Junction and the traffic lights by St George’s Church. I choose not to eat at the outside tables at cafes or restaurants for this reason.”
“Parking on the pavements and constant traffic jams with fumes spilling out are not conducive to make the high street a place that I want to stay”
Note: this is the second in a series of posts summarising the results of the local travel survey conducted by CCARA and Bromley Living Streets in late 2021. For more information about the survey, click here: CCARA Local Travel Survey.
Since conducting the survey, services to Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars have been reinstated following a long campaign by CCARA chair Cllr Chloe-Jane Ross, thanks to everyone that signed CCARA’s petition. However, direct services from Hayes to Cannon Street (stopping at Clock House and New Beckenham) were withdrawn from December 11th 2022. The survey responses show that frequent, reliable rail services are important to local residents’ ability to travel to work or school, access hospitals and public services.
This blog post draws on the results of our local travel survey, conducted in late 2021, which aimed to understand how Beckenham residents travel, what is currently working well, and the challenges faced for safe and sustainable travel.
Direct service Beckenham Junction to Blackfriars
The withdrawal of this direct Southeastern service between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars affected 30% of employed residents and 11% of non-employed residents. Respondents noted that the alternative route, connecting to the Thameslink service at Herne Hill, is overcrowded and it is often difficult to make the connection when trains from Beckenham Junction are delayed.
Impacts on commuting to work
Impacts on non-work travel
“Now everyone uses the train to Victoria to change at Herne Hill and the trains are really busy. If the Victoria train is delayed, you miss the connection at Herne Hill and this leads to overcrowding and delays again.”
“I used to travel on this service to get to St Pancras, but now I cannot as changing at Herne Hill in peak time in a wheelchair is impossible”
“Massive impact on the journey to Blackfriars, the interchange at Herne Hill is now horrendous”
“I work all over central London and this has meant I now have circa 30 minutes extra on my commute each day” “Rather than travelling to Blackfriars I have to take the bus to Penge and catch the Overground. My commute has gone from ~60min to 80min. I am pressured from my work to go in more often but best-case is nearly 3hrs commuting each day, with services often cancelled or delayed. As a result I will potentially move away from Beckenham as it is no longer a viable location for city workers.”
“I used to use this service a lot to visit family in Farringdon. I can’t walk between stations or stand for too long now so it has hindered my ability to get the train”
“Reduced rail services are a nuisance and lead to longer journeys with additional changes. Use of public transport should be encouraged not discouraged”
Reduced frequencies between Beckenham Junction and London Bridge (via Crystal Palace)
This affected 19% of employed residents, and 12% of non-employed residents. Note – since this survey was conducted, the frequency of Beckenham Junction to London Bridge trains has improved from 90-minute frequencies to 30-minute frequencies (peak-hour) and 60-minute frequencies (off-peak).
Impacts on commuting to work
Impacts on non-work travel
“I used to be able to take on train to and from work. Now, I have to take a minimum of two trains, as well as a bus. Planning is much more difficult, as trains can be cancelled and the timing of buses is not reliable.” “The change from regular half hour service to every 90 minutes means the service is almost unusable and highly inconvenient for me to travel to and from London Bridge which I do regularly” “The reduction in the services Beckenham Junction to London Bridge via Crystal Palace is a problem; it means starting journeys extra early (in order to arrive at work on time) and returning home much later due to reduction in services”
“I would take the train everyday to pick up my grandson from school and at weekends. The service is extreme unreliable apart from being infrequent”
“I have to visit Guy’s Hospital frequently and used to take the train from Beckenham Junction directly to London Bridge. Now my husband has to drive me to Hayes Station. If I go to New Beckenham they are less frequent, and some trains from Hayes don’t always stop there. I used to return direct to Beckenham Junction where I could take taxi home if husband not available. Now I have to take Hayes train and phone home for a lift.”
“As a regular patient at Moorfields in City Road the London Bridge station is important to connect with bus. Have difficulty in using New Beckenham as visually impaired.”
“As I am retired I am able to spend extra time travelling but it causes me inconvenience as I have to travel to Victoria and then take the underground. Thankfully I am able bodied as it involves a lot of extra walking.“
“I have to drive to more distant train stations with my disabled son to get him to city centre hospital appointments. I have had to take longer to get to work and missed key business opportunities due to less frequent and reliable transport opportunities”
Reduced frequencies between Clock House/New Beckenham and Charing Cross
Lastly, the reduced service frequency between New Beckenham and Charing Cross affected 20% of workers and 15% or non-employed residents. Note – since this survey was conducted, the frequency of these trains has improved. See More trains back in Southeastern’s timetable.
Impacts on commuting to work
Impacts on non-work travel
“The trains are less frequent, I am less inclined to commute in to central London as I have to plan carefully around the few trains that run”
“Reduced service in evenings from Victoria and Waterloo East make it less relaxing when out I London. Need to watch the clock or leave earlier than ideal to get home.” “The change from regular half hour service to every 90 minutes means the service is almost unusable and highly inconvenient for me to travel to and from London Bridge which I do regularly” “The reduction in the services Beckenham Junction to London Bridge via Crystal Palace is a problem; it means starting journeys extra early (in order to arrive at work on time) and returning home much later due to reduction in services”
“We have curtailed travel into London for the theatre or museums or shopping and try to shop online when possible.”
“South Bank and Central London cinema, theatre and restaurants are harder to access”
“Reducing the service to 1 train per half-hour makes it harder to link rail journeys to appointments in the City especially on Sunday. Instead I will travel by bicycle or car. Increasingly by car as I grow older.“
Bromley Council are consulting on charging more Council tax on empty homes to try and encourage owners to bring them back into use for housing.
Beckenham has quite a few of long empty residential buildings, some of which are not being well maintained and are causing issues for neighbouring residents (anti-social behaviour, untidy site, fire). We think this is a good idea. You can have your say by completing the consultation that ends on 4 Jan 2023 at the link below.
In late 2021 Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association partnered with Bromley Living Streets to distribute a survey to better understand how Beckenham residents travel, what is currently working well, and the challenges faced for safe and sustainable travel. Flyers promoting the online survey were distributed to residents across Beckenham, and also shared via Twitter, Facebook and Nextdoor. The majority of responses were received via the flyers, for residents across three local wards: Beckenham Town and Copers Cope, Clock House, and Kelsey and Eden Park.
The survey results gave a detailed picture of the how people travel in and around Beckenham. By providing a more in-depth picture of the diverse travel needs of Beckenham residents, we aim to improve the quality of debate and deliberation over local transport issues.
The survey results will be shared across multiple blog posts due to the amount of data collected. This first blog posts presents the results on how residents travel, what currently works well, and what challenges residents face with respect to local travel, streets and public spaces.
About the survey
What did we ask? 1. How do local residents travel for work, shopping and recreation? 2. What currently works well for residents, with respect to local travel, streets and public spaces? 3. What are the main challenges faced by residents, with respect to local travel, streets and public spaces? 4. What barriers to residents face to walking or cycling more? 5. Do residents use the Albemarle Road cycle lane? 6. How do residents travel to Beckenham High Street, and what do they use it for? 7. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on residents’ work and travel patterns?
Who responded to the survey? 1,012 residents responded to the survey. As shown in the graph below, over-65s were strongly represented, with very few responses from residents aged under 25.
61% of respondents were in paid work and 25% of respondents worked on a fully- or partially-remote basis. 21% of responses came from families with school-age children, and 9% of respondents had health issues or disabilities which limited their mobility.
The map below shows the postcodes for which survey responses were submitted. These responses broadly spanned four wards: Penge & Cator, Clock House, Beckenham Town & Copers Cope, and Kelsey & Eden Park.
How do residents travel to work, for shopping, and to visit friends and family?
There were big differences in travel habits: to commute to work, the most common ways to travel are by train or tram, working remotely, or walking. In contrast, shopping trips are mostly by walking, private car, ordering online and then by bus or tram. Trips to visit friends or family were the most likely to be taken by private car, followed by train, walking, or bus.
Retired residents are more likely to do the shopping on foot, by bus, or by private car, and less likely to go shopping by bicycle or using deliveries. Families with school-age children are more likely to use delivery services, or travel by bicycle. They are less likely to walk, drive, or travel by bus.
What currently works well for residents?
The results showed that a lot of residents were happy with the number and quality of parks and green spaces in and around Beckenham. The redevelopment of the High Street several years ago, and the temporary measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic were also appreciated. These included wider pavements, outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes, street trees and planters to close off on-street parking on the High Street. Parks and green spaces, as well as bus and rail services, were more important to retired residents. Families valued wider pavements and the quality of street cleaning and maintenance.
What are the main challenges faced by residents?
Overall, the main concerns were speeding, the amount of road traffic and the lack of community toilets. Retired residents are more likely to be concerned about the lack of community toilets, poorly maintained footpaths and roads, and the lack of public seating. Contrastingly, families with school-age children were more likely to be concerned about speeding, the amount of road traffic, air pollution and the lack of separated cycle lanes.
The next blog post will focus on the impacts of the reduced rail services to Beckenham since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Beckenham Green Friends are applying for £20,000 from the Platinum Jubilee Parks Fund to; replant the brick planters facing the High Street, create signs for the different plants and trees on the green, make a small woodland walk along the boundary with the church, and get storage and equipment for the Green Friends/community groups.
They need the support of 100 local people, find out more and pledge your support (no money, only support) at the link below.
There will be road works between Langley Road and the traffic lights at the junction from from 9am on 28 October, for up to three days. The left hand lane up to the traffic lights will be closed.
The works appear to be in order to install gas and electricity to just one property on Croydon Rd.
Traffic towards Croydon will be diverted right at the traffic lights along Elmers End Rd and then Croydon Road A213, Penge Road A213, South Norwood High Street A213, Portland Road A215, Spring Lane A215, Long Lane A222, Croydon Road A222. There will also be a separate signed diversion in place for HGVs/high vehicles to avoid the low bridges in the area.
The diversion signs for the 367 bus towards Croydon appear to indicate that will turn right, then enter the bus interchange and from there will be able to rejoin its route by turning right at the junction.
Success for CCARA Chair and local Cllr Chloe-Jane Ross!
After 18 months of campaigning Southeastern have agreed to restore the Beckenham Junction to Blackfriars service that was cancelled during the pandemic.
Worried that Southeastern would quietly drop the Blackfriars service which it cancelled during the pandemic, Chloe-Jane started the campaign to save it some 18 months ago. She set up an on-line petition calling for the restoration of this service, it grew to over two thousand signatures and highlighted the overwhelming support for the restoration of this service. She has been meeting with Southeastern regularly to make the case for the service on behalf of local people.
After months of lobbying Southeastern, other Councillors, the local MP, London Assembly members and anyone that would listen, it’s brilliant to report that the new timetable from 11 Dec 2022 includes 5 trains in the morning from Beckenham Junction to Blackfriars and 2 back in the evening.
Chloe-Jane said: “Beckenham is an excellent transport hub, and this is one of the reasons that people choose to set up home here. I’m delighted to have been able to make a strong case to Southeastern (with a 2000+ petition, thank you) and they’ve listened to us. The return of this service will make a huge difference to many commuters.”
“I’ve had regular meetings with Southeastern and was presented with different statistics being used to assess use of the service. But what these stats didn’t show was the different choices commuters were making in the absence of the Blackfriars service. Southeastern’s data did not show the true demand for the service, and in the end the Head of Operations agreed with me on this.”
“This has been a brilliant community campaign, thank you to everyone that supported it”.
South East London (SEL) Integrated Care System are seeking to recruit public members to join the Engagement Assurance Committee to fill the a vacancy in Bromley. The individuals appointed will have an important role in contributing to provide assurance on engagement in projects and programmes which are carried out on behalf of the system across south east London. Find out more at: https://letstalkhealthandcareselondon.org/seleac
The Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association and West Beckenham Residents’ Association pays tribute and thanks to the remarkable life and service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We send our condolences to the those she loved and those that loved her.
Every day in the UK, 350 people have a stroke or heart attack that could have been prevented. 6 million people in the UK have high blood pressure and don’t know it. Could you help us find them? During Know Your Numbers week there will be free blood pressure checks across Bromley. Find your nearest one or visit a local pharmacy. For more information, visit www.bromley.gov.uk/bloodpressure
Thames Water will be closing Manor Road, Beckenham for up to three consecutive nights from Tuesday 02/08 whilst they complete essential sewer lining and sewer cleaning works.
The road will be closed between 20:00-06:00 on each night. Manor Road will be closed between the junctions of Beckenham High Street and Bevington Road. Traffic will be diverted via High Street and Bromley Road in both directions.
Industrial action: Wednesday 27 and Saturday 30 July
Industrial action is due to take place on our network by the RMT union on Wednesday 27 July, and ASLEF union on Saturday 30 July.
There will be a limited service running on the rail network on Wednesday 27 July and some routes will be closed. Please only travel by train if necessary. If you are travelling expect severe disruption and plan ahead.
There will be no services running across our network on Saturday 30 July. Please do not try to travel by train on this day.
If you travel by train on the day after industrial action, please expect disruption, plan ahead and allow extra time to make your journey.
You can find out more about how the industrial action on Wednesday 27 July and Saturday 30 July will affect our services here
23 – 31 July: London Victoria to Beckenham Junction/Shortlands line closure – service information
Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July: There will be no trains between Shortlands and London Victoria via Herne Hill. Customers can travel to London Victoria from Bromley South via Denmark Hill. A replacement bus service will also run from Bromley South to Denmark Hill via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Monday 25 – Friday 29 July: No trains between Beckenham Junction and London Victoria. There will be a twice-hourly shuttle train service between Beckenham Junction and Orpington. Customers can travel to Bromley South for trains to London Victoria via Denmark Hill. A replacement bus service will run between Beckenham Junction and Denmark Hill, via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Service changes at Beckenham Junction due to industrial action
Tuesday 25 July: Due to the RMT industrial action on Wednesday 27 July, the Beckenham Junction to Orpington train service will stop at 22.00 and a replacement bus will run instead, calling at Beckenham Junction, Shortlands, Bromley South, Bickley, Petts Wood, and Orpington.
Wednesday 27 July: The replacement bus service for the line closure that runs between Beckenham Junction and Denmark Hill, via Herne Hill (except Brixton) will continue to run during the industrial action. There will also be a replacement bus service calling at Beckenham Junction, Shortlands, Bromley South, Bickley, Petts Wood and Orpington.
Thursday 28 July: Following the RMT industrial action, an early morning replacement bus service will run between Beckenham Junction and Orpington, calling at Shortlands, Bromley South, Bickley, Petts Wood and Orpington. The first shuttle train service between Beckenham Junction and Orpington will run after 08.30. Change at Bromley South for services to Victoria via Denmark Hill. A replacement bus service will also run from Beckenham Junction to Denmark Hill, via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Friday 29 July: No trains between Beckenham Junction and London Victoria. There will be a twice-hourly shuttle train service between Beckenham Junction and Orpington. Customers can travel to Bromley South for trains to London Victoria via Denmark Hill. A replacement bus service will run between Beckenham Junction and Denmark Hill, via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Saturday 30 July: Due to industrial action by the train drivers’ union, ASLEF, there will be no trains across the Southeastern network. The replacement bus service for the line closure will run from Bromley South to Denmark Hill, via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Sunday 31 July: There will be no trains between Shortlands and London Victoria via Herne Hill. Customers can travel to London Victoria from Bromley South via Denmark Hill. A replacement bus service will also run from Bromley South to Denmark Hill via Herne Hill, calling at all stations except Brixton.
Replacement bus service summary:
Saturday to Sunday
Denmark Hill and Bromley South, calling at all stations between Herne Hill and Bromley South, except Brixton.
Monday to Friday
Denmark Hill and Beckenham Junction, calling at all stations between Herne Hill and Beckenham Junction, except Brixton.
Tuesday evening from 22.00, Wednesday all day and Thursday morning until 08.30
Beckenham Junction to Orpington, via Shortlands, Bromley South, Bickley, Petts Wood, and Orpington.
Join us on Beckenham Green for a Ziggy Stardust inspired Market On The Green. Plus High Street Trail – find the Bowie Dolls in the High Street and win a prize. Ziggy Stardust, was David Bowies famous alter-ego he created when living in Beckenham 50 years ago.
When: 10am to 5pm on Saturday 16 July 2022
Where: Beckenham Green (next to St George’s Church, Beckenham High Street, BR3 5JG, near Beckenham Junction Station and Tram link)
What: live entertainment, fair rides with ferris wheel, spoken word tent, street food, market stalls, kids craft tent and much more. Check out the full schedule here
Get into the vibe: come along in the in style of the 1970s or 80s iconic decades. Prizes given for the best dressed.