Lewisham Gateway: NewLewisham.comms

I haven’t actually been past the former bus station site for nearly a week*, but I thought I should share a very small bit of news on the comms front regarding Lewisham Gateway.

I’m told the developers have “circulated to the immediate area” a double-sided Lewisham Gateway leaflet (PDF).

Lewisham Gateway Leaflet, March 2014

Lewisham Gateway Leaflet, March 2014

On the one hand this is great news as it’s obviously an improvement on doing nothing at all. But on the other, well, it’s just not very good, is it?

For a start, what is the “immediate area” they’ve distributed this leaflet to? I live about five minutes’ walk from the former bus station site and haven’t received it. Circulating a leaflet hyperlocally suggests a bit of a misunderstanding of the nature of this site, in any case: this isn’t a conservatory going up on a suburban housing estate; this is the major redevelopment of one of south-east London’s biggest transport interchanges, used daily by thousands of people from all over this corner of the capital.

Content-wise, the leaflet says very little. The main information on the leaflet has also appeared on their web site, NewLewisham.com, in a box on the home page:

Preparing our site

Some initial work has started to prepare the site for redevelopment and on 1 March 2014 Lewisham Bus stand relocated to Thurston Road. All bus services will continue to run, although there are minor changes to some routes passing through the area – details of the changes can by found on Transport for London’s website.

I suspect passengers on the affected buses, who suddenly have to negotiate four of the very pedestrian crossings Lewisham Gateway has been set up to eliminate, would question the idea that the route changes are “minor” – and they affect around half the routes serving Lewisham as a whole, already – a proportion which will only go up as the project progresses.

It’s a shame it took them until over a week after the changes kicked in to release this info, after over a thousand baffled commuters had come to my big post about the changes via routes including searches like “lewisham station buses no longer stopping” and “what’s happening at lewisham bus terminal”, but it’s better than nothing – and, interestingly, the web site update ends as follows:

If you have any questions or comments about Lewisham Gateway please feel free to get in touch:
020 7403 8587
info@NewLewisham.com

Tempting! Particularly given that my enquiries to their Twitter account have gone unanswered, as they edge ever closer to a full year without mustering a tweet – 327 days and counting, TweetDeck informs me…

Let’s hope they start displaying info on signs around the site itself – the only reliable way to reach the vast majority of those actually affected by the changes – and updating their web site, which they recently told councillors “will act as a central source of information as the project progresses”.

In the meantime, thanks very much to one of my local councillors for keeping me up to date. More if/when I get it…

Update: the morning after posting this I did have a couple of minutes to check on the former bus station before catching a train. No signs, no info, but at least the slightest of signs of work beginning: two vans parked and two men in high-visibility jackets on-site, one of whom was pushing some sort of wheeled measuring device back and forth across the vacated bus area. I shall, literally, watch this space.

» Full Lewisham Gateway content archive

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