The Emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter

“… The Bussey building is still buzzing with lively commercial activity, as part of Copeland Industrial Park. This is tucked away behind Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane, and hosts many small businesses, including some 100 artists, several faith groups, and arts, music and exhibition spaces. These contribute to the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter. It is part of the large seven acre site, stretching from Rye Lane to Brayards Road, designated for demolition for the Cross River Tram depot.

However, it is a strategic site in the heart of the town centre, and could have a different and better future. The historic buildings could be integrated in new developments, for modern businesses and social uses. This, together with opening up the site, by creating small squares, courtyards and passage ways, would include the Quarter in the town centre. A range of ideas about how this might be done has been developed… ” (from SE15 The Independent Magazine for Peckham and Nunhead November 2008) Read more… (image file, PDF file)

Sun shines again on Open House walks

Following the successful Open House Weekend last year (see last year’s blog) people flocked again to take the Open House weekend walks led by The Peckham Society on Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st September 2008 (see photos). This time there were around 100 on two walks. Again everyone enjoyed the magnificent views of Peckham and central London from the roof of the Bussey building. They enjoyed the refreshments in the CLF Arts Café and the Peckham Vision exhibition of the latest information about the tram & tram depot plans, and the ideas for that central area of Peckham town centre if the tram depot is not located there. The new images and plans for the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter were included in the displays. They heard how the huge size and good solid condition of the historic Bussey building is providing spaces for new creative arts and music businesses.

The tours also looked at

  • the behind-the-scenes preparation for the next twice monthly exhibition at the new (since last year) innovative Hannah Barry Gallery which is next door to the Bussey building. This demonstrates the scope for creative development of the whole business site which would otherwise be demolished for the proposed tram depot;
  • the historic gems of Holdron’s Victorian arcades which, currently hidden by shop fittings, might be restored for commercial town centre use;
  • the way all that would complement the opening up of the piazza in front of the fabulous gem of Peckham Rye station (listed finally this year to protect it for the future).

London Assembly Transport Committee

The London Assembly Transport Committee held a seminar on 9th September about the cross river tram (CRT) and how it could be progressed. Peckham Vision submitted comments which highlighted three points:

  1. TfL’s plan to locate the CRT depot in Peckham town centre will destroy self-generating renewal. There needs to be a full public review now of all the potential CRT depot sites to examine the full regeneration impacts.
  2. Mid-Southwark needs improved transport. There should be an early new dedicated Express Bus or Shuttle service which follows the CRT route. This would help the planning for the CRT and other improved transport for Peckham and surrounding area.
  3. The CRT must continue to be a cross river tram and get across the river in its first phase to Euston and Kings X.

At the seminar Tfl revealed that the cost of the tram had increased to £1.3bn, and that there had been no money in the budget anyway for the previous cost of £800m, and that even if there were the money the date for the operation of the new tram would now be 2018. The committee resolved to push for the examination of all sources of funding to ensure that the tram project is not shelved, and will discuss this at the next meeting on 16th October.

In the meantime, as there are 10 years before there could be a tram even if TfL had the money to build it, why don’t they install a new express shuttle bus NOW on the tram route to improve our transport across the river to central London, and use it as an excellent test and demonstration of the case for the tram?

Peckham Resident’s Group launches Cross River Tram petition

Evolution Quarter Residents’ Association (EQRA) has launched a petition in partnership with the South London Press, calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to fully support the proposed Cross River Tram (CRT) scheme. The petition highlights the economic benefits that the Tram will bring to some of the capital’s largest regeneration projects. Supporters of the Cross River Tram can add their names to the petition at The petition will be presented to the London Assembly Transport Committee at a meeting about the tram open to the public on Tuesday 9th September 10.00am at City Hall, see

Election Candidates invited to Peckham

The Peckham Society, with Peckham Vision, has written to candidates for Mayor and Southwark/Lambeth Assembly candidates to ask:
“If you are elected, will you come to Peckham so that we:

  • can introduce you to Peckham’s historic town centre,
  • discuss how to ensure the protection of the historic buildings is well integrated into the plans for the tram project,
  • discuss how to utilise the protection of these historic assets to lever in external heritage funding for their rehabilitation and the regeneration of the town centre? … “

Read more …

Tram Depot could be located off Old Kent Road

Southwark News reports: ‘A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the depot for the Cross River Tram could end up just off the Old Kent Road.

Transport for London (TfL) had been reluctant to release the alternative sites which could park up to 48 trams, after an inspection of the favoured Peckham site stated that it should not house all the trams and that inspectors “..were not convinced that the site is the only feasible option for a single or principal tram depot.”.

The response to campaign group Peckham Vision showed that a site on Ilderton Road, near Millwall’s ground The Den, could be an alternative to the Peckham site and is so large it could house all the trams.

This week Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor, has also released plans to place an alternative tram route along Old Kent Road which will roughly follow the route of the current 453 bus to Deptford, and will connect with the Cross River Tram at Waterloo. Read more …

TfL have visited to look at Tram Scheme

A letter in Southwark News from Peckham Vision describing the walkabout on the tram loop route with TfL. The letter said:

“… This one-way single track loop does of course raise issues which need to be addressed, and examined, just as TfL’s own two-way double track proposals raise issues which need further examination. There are pluses and minuses of both ideas. But a double width track causes such minuses in some places, while in some places there are big pluses in the single track loop, in addition to getting the tram so much closer to Nunhead, Peckham Rye, East Dulwich and Peckham Rye station. All we have asked TfL to do is a thorough evaluation of these alternatives, and to publish their results…”

See full letter press cutting or Southwark News website.

The Peckham Tram Loop needs discussion with TfL

It has been reported (SLP 7th December) that TfL are rejecting the idea of a tram loop round Peckham town centre. Peckham Vision has asked Val Shawcross, the London Assembly Member for Southwark & Lambeth, to press the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, to intervene to get TfL to discuss the idea with the local community.

We are astonished that TfL appear to reject the idea without any discussion. During the TfL consultation on the route last December/January, TfL promised to come back to the local community to discuss particular details. Now they appear to be saying they will take decisions without any further discussions.

They are reported as saying they reject it because it would cross the High St in two places, it is longer than the TfL route, and it would share more road space with other vehicles. But:

  • The number of tram crossings would be the same with the TfL and the loop proposals – two crossings of the High St. The impact on traffic might even be less with the loop as the number of tram movements in one place would be halved.
  • The relatively small extra route length would bring the tram in walking distance of thousands more people in Nunhead, Peckham Rye & East Dulwich, and bring it directly outside Peckham Rye station.
  • The benefits of the single-track compared with the double-track might outweigh the greater road sharing – half the number of trams on more roads might have less impact on traffic.
  • Southwark Council have asked TfL to investigate it. TfL can’t do that properly without discussions on the ground with local people who are familiar with the streets concerned, and with the proposal. Even better variations on the idea might emerge from such constructive local discussions.
  • This idea really deserves thorough discussion with TfL on the ground.

Tram is not loopy

Article in South London Press:

“Members of campaigning group Peckham Vision have called for the proposed Cross River Tram (CRT), which is set to terminate in Peckham, to instead run on a circle line-style route through the area. The group’s latest newsletter calls for the change, saying running two tracks alongside each other would cause “great difficulties” in the area’s crowded streets and a single track circular route would be less disruptive. Eileen Conn, a member of Peckham Vision, said: “A one-way system seems to work well in Croydon town centre.” A single track would be much less disruptive than a double track.

Read more…