A month ago today, with next-to-no warning or explanation, big changes took place to bus running around Lewisham station. In the absence of any official communication, I revived this blog and shared what I knew and could figure out, drawing a couple of thousand interested/baffled people to that post in its first few days. There was clearly an appetite for information, but a shortage of it from official sources.
Last week, the Lewisham Gateway developers circulated a leaflet to homes in the area. The Lewisham Gateway Site Preparations Update leaflet (PDF) said it was the second such leaflet recently, but only this one got as far as my flat (near Tesco) – or rather as far as a pile on the floor of my block’s lobby, not anyone’s individual letterbox, but that’s progress. The leaflet repeatedly encouraged readers to visit their web site and follow them on Twitter - but at that stage the site contained less news than the leaflet and their Twitter had been dormant since last April, so anyone following this advice would have been a bit disappointed and not encouraged to return.
But now, one month on from the initial bus changes, finally the Lewisham Gateway developers have tweeted for the first time in 347 days, and updated their web site’s News page to contain, well, news. And indeed olds, since I’m not sure you can really call retrospective updates about what happened up to a month ago ‘news’.
Let’s have a look at their three news updates, the first two of which are backdated to when they happened but have only appeared this week.
1 March 2014
Preparations start on site:
- The bus stand moves from next to the DLR station to its permanent location on Thurston Road
- The bus stops on Station Road have been closed, with buses stopping at alternative nearby stops - click here for information on current services from TfL and here for a spider map of the services
As a large number of buses use this area it has not been possible for all buses to continue to terminate next to the DLR (at bus stops C, D and F), as doing so would cause unnecessary congestion and pinch points in the area, causing significant delays to services. We have produced an online map showing the bus stop moves – click here to view map.
The information in the PDF linked to first in the second bullet point would certainly have been useful a month ago, but by now regular Lewisham station-goers will have figured all its contents out the hard way.
The Google map at the end, although it contains a few minor inaccuracies, is also a nice bit of online info-sharing, but a month on from the changes it describes kicking in.
11 March 2014
Ground investigation work starts:
- At the Molesworth Street/Loampit Vale junction
- On the roundabout island
Work should not affect any travel arrangements. To see a location map of where we’re working click here.
So that explains what I’d seen going on on a few evenings recently – again, weeks after I saw it. Also, the (again, promisingly clear) location map and the above bulleted list don’t mention any work in the semicircular park to the east of the roundabout, but that’s currently shut and being dug up too, so that seems a bit of an oversight.
The top news update is indeed actual news – current, relevant and informative, if vague date-wise:
Construction work is expected to start on site. In the coming weeks we plan to close the section of Station Road between the DLR and Lewisham Road. The route will be signposted and you can also click on this online map to see the site and location of the first two new buildings and park.
Another useful and clear Google Maps overlay. This quality of information presentation bodes well for future updates.
We will update this page and circulate an update to residents, businesses and other interested parties, with more details ahead of construction work starting. You can register for updates by emailing updates@NewLewisham.com.
Great! I’ll certainly be registering for updates, as you’d imagine, and I’d encourage you all to do so too. If Lewisham Gateway’s developers can just keep the updates timely, open and clear, their long overdue web site update suggests my (guess)work here may yet be done.