Bricklayers' Roundabout redevelopment

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Jason Marks
Sunday 2 September 2001 9.39pm
I heard from a completely unreliable source that Transport for London are thinking about redeveloping the Bricklayers' Arms roundabout. This would almost restore my faith in the ability of Ken to actually achieve something. Anything that resulted in the flyover being torn down would surely be a good idea. Does anyone know anything about this, or was my mate talking out of his backside?
Tuesday 4 September 2001 2.26pm
My life is blighted by the Bricklayers arms, too, and i would love to see it completey done away with.(the festering subways, especially!)

I heard a few months ago that TFL have put their bricklayers redevelopment plans on hold, while conjestion charging beds that'll be a few years, yet, then! (then there's the elephant and castle re-gen which may impact on it, too).

But...if anyone knows any different, it would make my day!
Saturday 8 September 2001 8.22am
I haven't heard of any plans but would love to see it (the flyover) go and the whole area improved. The person we bought our flat from said that he had a plan that had been accepted for consideration. His plan was to have the traffic go underground and the area above made into a park and pedestrian area. Sounds good to me.

Now if we could only do something about all the rubbish that we have to walk through on a daily basis!
Sunday 9 September 2001 1.43pm
I've had numerous correspondence with Southwark council, complaining about the state of this subway area, and the fact that the central roundabout part is poorly lit, and is in effect a muggers' paradise. With the nights getting shorter again, its all very well having the main subway parts lit, but if the central section is still dark, its not much use. Maybe it would be worth getting a petition together, so that the council is aware of the strength of local opinion. What do people think?
Sunday 9 September 2001 7.31pm
I am curious as to how many people have been acutally mugged in the subways at B.A'ms, I live nearby and have only heard of five in all the years (30?) it has been opened.
I would rather take my chances and use the underpass than run over the road (sometimes with children in tow )like I have seen some cretins do!
It would be more money wasted, the traffic passes at a steady rate, and to make tunnels for the traffic is potty, they may well save a millisecond, but where will all the trafffic go when it reaches a 100 yards further down?
Monday 10 September 2001 10.00pm
I actually got attacked in the subway a year ago, so I admit that I may be biased, but regardless of that, its still a hideous 60s monstrosity, the subways are covered in urine and graffiti, about 50% of the new lighting doesn't work and it should be torn down! I don't think that would be a waste of money at all.
Tuesday 11 September 2001 7.58am
Sorry to hear that Jake, I'll now amend my one cell brain, I hope they did not hurt you too much?
But that aside where would the traffic go? as I recall the sub-way being built was not Southwark Councils brain-wave, it was a scheme promoted by the old G.L.C. (Greater London Council for you young whippersnappers!) it was promoted as a solution to congestion on the road at the old Bricklayers Arms, all it did as I recall was to shift the delays further down the Old Kent Road.
But as I am no highways engineer I'd better belt up!
Thursday 13 September 2001 10.24am
I emailed Southwark council regarding this issue, and this is the response I received:

Dear Murray

I refer to your e-mail of the 3 September regarding the removal of the
flyover at the Bricklayer\'s Arm Roundabout.

I can confirm that Transport for London have no proposals to demolish the
flyover. Removal of the flyover would result in additional traffic
circulating on the roundabout. This may have serious capacity implications
for the junction and would require extensive traffic modelling to be

The only proposals currently being considered are the provision of surface
level pedestrian and cycle crossings as an alternative to the existing

Thank you for your enquiry

Yours sincerely

Mike Smith
Street Management - Southwark
Thursday 13 September 2001 10.26am
Thank you very much for taking time to respond to my query.

With regards possible solutions to the Bricklayer's Arms junction,
how about demolition of the flyover and have the traffic from the New
Kent Rd go underground to the Old Kent Rd? Surely this would free up
massive amounts of space on the surface which could be sold to developers,
allowing the recoup of some of the expenses incurred.

I, and many others believe that the area is blighted by this concrete monstrosity,
and the pedestrian subways are in an appalling state; smelly, grafitti ridden,
and a long-winded detour. The number of pedestrians jaywalking the junction
reflects the fact that people would rather risk their lives crossing 3 lanes
of traffic than use the existing pedestrian facilities. Installation of surface
level pedestrian crossings at each of the spurs off the roundabout sounds
like it would make things safer, but the real issue is that the flyover is an
ugly 1970's brutalist construction which is slap-bang in the middle of a
residential area.

Furthermore, if the flyover relieves traffic pressure off the roundabout so
much, why has it been narrowed from 2 lanes to 1 lane over the last couple
of years?

I would like to know who to approach about getting some research done into
alternative traffic solutions at the Bricklayer's, as I'm sure it would
garner a lot of local support. Could you please refer me to the relevant

I would also like to make you aware that I shall be posting this email exchange
to the community forums, as I am not the only
individual with opinions on the subject.

Yours sincerely

Murray Furtado
Thursday 13 September 2001 9.51pm
Good letter Murray.

Last year I filled in a Southwark Council form to suggest ideas for environmental improvements for the borough. In suggesting the Bricklayers Arms roundabout I wrote of the hammering of our senses - the constant noise of traffic at second floor level, the pungent smell of urine in the subways, the sight of post war brutalistm in a residential area, the non human materials (certainly not touchy-feely) - a totally tasteless piece of design by traffic engineers. It fell on deaf ears.

Unlike Jan I, like so many others, would rather risk life and limb crossing four lanes of traffic on a daily basis rather than spend double the time in a rancid smelling and threatening environment.

I do think the Council's consideration of Ground level pedestrian and cycle crossings is a good start - we should back it as a first stage refurbishment.

From 2003 with Ken's toll zone, the New Kent Road will be heaving with traffic especially before 7am and after 7pm and the car lobby will be up in arms about a further slowing down of traffic. Things need to happen fast.
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