I dont live on Long Lane but not that far away. I live near E&C tube. Ive lived there for couple of years. Maybey im not the best person to speak about the area (being fairly new to it) but i was speaking from my own experience which has been OK.
I've been a long lane resident for 7 years (SE1 12 yrs) and frequently walk home late at night alone and never had any trouble. Not noticed the prostitutes either , nor been propositoned. Watch out when it's raining though the poor road drainage means your like to get a soaking once in a while. Traffic can be a bit of a problem in the mornings and evening but its not so bad at the weekends. Oh yes and you'll find it a bit of a building site for the next few years. But all in all it a fine place to live. I grew up in the far safer and green country side but you can die of bordom there!
Well Rose, you do have a choice of places to go for supermarkets, there is Tesco Old Kent Road and Surrey Quays, all a short bus ride away if you dont have your own transport, there is a small Safeway in New Kent Road with a bigger store in Walworth Road. There is Lidl and Aldi in Old Kent Road, Lidl being within walking distance. Sainsburys is at New Cross by the station, not sure if there is a nearer one, perhaps someone else will correct me. And of course, Long Lane has its corner shops for emergencies and Tower Bridge Road has about 3 or 4 mini markets (although a bit dearer and less choice than the bigger stores). In the plans for the new Bermondsey Square/Long Lane development if I am correct I believe there is going to be a new supermarket (Tesco).
You can walk to the old kent road tesco about 15 to 20 minutes depending which end of long lane you are. A taxi back is £3.50 (use freephone in the store). If I want to go to sainsburys I go to nine elms.
There are no plans for a supermarket at the Bermondsey square developemnt but there is for a metro size store if the plans for Tabard square (other end of long lane) go ahead. Also there are plans fo a metro size store at more london site (tooley street)