Peckham Rye Station
From Peckham Vision
 Station latest February 2014
- Station Gateway project: Background to recent events - the Council and Network Rail developed plans for the creation of the new front square and new commercial spaces at the back of the station. Network Rail's architects held a consultation in the Old Waiting Room on 30 November 11am–3pm. Deadline for comments was 7th December. Some of the points to think about were in the short briefing note we produced for visitors to the consultation. This consultation appeared to be testing the public response to the ideas presented by previous architects and adopted by Network Rail as a preferred option. The architects held another event on 18 January to present their detailed ideas as the basis for the planning application in the Spring. These met overwhelming concern and opposition at the presentation at 3pm in the afternoon, to which about 250 people turned up. The plans presented were based on the ideas first identified in the ‘preferred option’ dated November 2012 but which we discovered only through Freedom of Information in October 2013. It was a disappointing wasted opportunity to leave the public engagement so late in the process, and then leave just a week after the November event to absorb and comment on the design ideas being used. Aware of the lack of engagement on the conceptual approach to the development, over the summer 2013 we facilitated a public community conversation - a summary of responses can be found on that link.
Latest News: Because of the public reaction to the plans the Council decided it needed to seek an extension of time for further discussions with the community. Harriet Harman MP supported that, as did many who wrote to the Mayor of London to seek an extension of time for real engagement with local people to design a station area development that benefits Peckham. The GLA has agreed this extension in principle and is expected to confirm this in March. Meanwhile discussions are proceeding on how to secure a co-design process for the development to ensure constructive and real community engagement. For details see: Station Gateway project
- Staircase restoration: most of the planning and permission work to complete the restoration and extend the staircase has now been done by Benedict O'Looney Architects. The next stage is to raise another approx £60,000 to pay for the restoration and extension. Any volunteers with good experience of managing fundraising please email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information: Staircase restoration
- Old Waiting Room: Peckham Vision is working on plans for interim uses for the room as it is, once the staircase is extended to give access from the forecourt. With the cash raised to complete the staircase and the work done, the room may be able to be hired for an experimental period for a variety of uses from late 2014. Volunteers with professional experience of event programming and management, and development of business plans will be welcome. Please email email@example.com. More information: Old Waiting Room
The exterior of the shops number 12–16 Blenheim Grove (between the station forecourt entrance and the first railway arches) has been renovated - repaired and painted – the first for a long time. The owners, a small property company called Roundmen Limited, have these premises on a long lease from Network Rail. This work has been planned for some years. They lease the shop on the corner of the station forecourt entrance, number 12, to hairdressers; next door is the Peckham Refreshments Rooms, and above is the art gallery The Sunday Painter. The shop next door to these units and in the arch leading to the station entrance, with a double shuttered front, is leased by Network Rail to a local business person, has just opened as a delicatessen with refreshments.
 Stages in Station restoration
The process started in the early 2000s with a campaign by The Peckham Society for the station to be listed. It was finally listed in 2008. In parallel there was promotion of the idea that the orginal square would be recreated. Rye Lane & Station Action Group took up this idea in 2004, and also stimulated the work which led to the first steps in the restoration of the Old Waiting Room. Peckham Vision then adopted the campaign for full restoration of the station and improvement of its surrounding environment. See these stages as they happened.
Peckham Rye station began operating in 1865, with an open square in front (see picture). It was designed by the noted Victorian architect Charles Henry Driver, who also designed some of London’s great pumping stations. Driver was also an energetic proponent of cast iron. In the station’s alterations in the 1930s and 1960s most of the station’s distinctive cast-iron work was removed. Examples of this can still be seen at the Denmark Hill and Battersea Park stations. The original iron stair remains at Peckham Rye. The work initiated by the Peckham Society and Peckham Vision will restore this and extend it to give access to the Old Waiting Room.
The building was Grade 2 listed in early 2008 by English Heritage after years of campaigning by the Peckham Society. The original building remains but the square in front was filled in with commercial buildings in the 1930s. The Council agreed in 2008 to adopt a policy to have the buildings in the square removed, and the square reopened as an open space in this central part of the town centre. This has been part of the integrated plan produced by Peckham Vision for Rye Lane Central since 2006.
In the meantime, Peckham Vision, with the Peckham Society and the Rye Lane and Station Action Group (RLSAG) and with support from the Community Council, worked together on a step by step process to restore the station; see the illustrated summary here. The historic original waiting room above the ticket hall is being restored stage by stage, and showing its potential. In late 2012 the first steps to restore the original staircase from the forecourt have been completed. Now, the long term ambition, to restore the station square, is to be achieved in the next few years - on 23 November 2011 it was announced that the London Mayor, through the GLA, and with Southwark Council will provide sufficent funds to restore the station square over the next few years. Read more on all the details below. The news on all this and about the future were reported and discussed at the public community meeting on the 14th March 2012, and at Peckham Vision's town centre exhibition 2-4 August 2012. See the latest news at the top of this page.
It was agreed in 2008 by all local elected representatives across the political parties at local ward, borough Council, London Assembly and Parliamentary levels that the aim should be to re-open the square in front of Peckham Rye station. Read more... The aspiration was included in the draft PNAAP (which is now reaching its final stages: the public hearing (Examination in Public) in June/July 2013). The idea needed a viable Network Rail business plan to be created for future income, and to compensate the owners of the long leases on the buildings to be removed. This obstacle was paritally removed when, in November 2011, the London Mayor announced that he would grant £5m towards the cost, so making it a plan that can be implemented in the next few years; see below.
Peckham Rye station does not comply with the requirements for disabled access. It can also be inaccessible for people with heavy luggage and small children. This is recognised and the aim is to install lifts to each platform. This needs major works. Initial plans developed for Southern Rail the managers of the station were presented by Southern’s architects to the RLSAG on 28 October 2009. Read more... This raised a number of problems relating to the historic building, and access to the platforms and the Old Waiting Room. However they were not progressed as Peckham Rye station had not been incuded in Department for Transport's (DfT) Access for All programme for funding. Because of the major restoration programme now being planned, Network Rail is currently (2013) examining the access issues and will be putting a proposal to the DfT this year to make the station fully accessible. Peckham Vision has developed proposals for new lifts which meet platform 3 users' needs and also the needs for lift access into the Old Waiting Room.
The huge magnificent empty space above the ticket hall began to come to light again during the recent years through campaigns by the Peckham Society, Rye Lane & Station Action Group and Peckham Vision. It was referred to as the Old Billiard Hall as it had been used for many decades by the railway staff as a recreation room. But the Billiard Hall was closed and the windows bricked up over 40 years ago and it remained a secret silent place inhabited mainly by pigeons. It was originally the Waiting Room for platforms 2 and 3, so it is also referred to as the Old Waiting Room. Over the last few years, it has been revived and opened to view again. This work has been inspired and led by Benedict O’Looney, local architect and historian, working with Eileen Conn from Peckham Vision, and supported by the Peckham Society, with small grants from the Community Council Cleaner, Greener, Safer Scheme. Restoration work and fund raising continues. See here for what remains to be done and the current plans.
Some CGS funding was secured by the Southwark Rail Users' Group (SRUG) for 2010/2011 to put together for a joint project with Southern Rail to clear away some of the clutter and to brighten up the station forecourt. This work dovetailed with the work to reveal the stone and cast iron staircase when the ground floor windows were unbricked in the tower to the left of the ticket hall. The first stage of this work has now been completed. Read more...
Peckham Rye station is at the intersection of two railway lines - one from London Bridge in a south west direction, and one coming from Blackfriars and Victoria (which join at Denmark Hill) and going south east to Kent.
This means that going into central London Peckham Rye is directly connected to several Tube lines:
- London Bridge within 10 minutes connections to Jubilee & Northern Lines
- Blackfriars within 13 minutes connections to District & Circle Lines (suspended until Autumn 2011 for work at Blackfriars)
- St Pancras/Kings Cross (via Blackfriars) within 23 minutes to Northern, Victoria, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Circle Lines
- Victoria within 15 minutes to Victoria, Circle, District Lines
- Farringdon within 20 minutes to Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Circle Lines
The arrival of the East London Line (ELL), in December 2012, connected Peckham Rye directly to
- London's east end and additonal tube stations Canada Water (Jubilee), Whitechapel (District, Metropolitan & City),
- north London - Highbury & Islington (Victoria),
- Clapham Junction and the many train services from there.
Going out of central London there are several ultimate destinations in south London, Kent and Surrey.
For handy tips from rail users on how best to use all these connections, click here.