Purpose of the scheme
Why are you doing these works?
Transport for London have been working in partnership with Lewisham Council to support their ambition to transform Catford Town Centre and improve transport in the area. We want to help the Council create a greener town centre and ensure Catford is a nice place for people to live, work and visit.
In order to achieve this vision, we are proposing changes to the road layout of the South Circular Road, moving Catford Road to the south side of Laurence House and removing the one-way system around Plassy Island. This will make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport in and around the town centre. It will also enable the Council to provide new pedestrian public space and help create a green, largely car-free town centre, with new trees and planting.
What is TfL’s role in the project and how will they work with Lewisham Council?
TfL is working in partnership with Lewisham Council to support their ambitious plans to transform Catford Town Centre, create a greener town centre and deliver new homes, shops and public space. Changes to the South Circular road through the town centre will help to facilitate these plans and ensure Catford is a nicer place for people to live, work and visit.
The proposals also aim to simplify the road network and make it safer and easier to walk, cycle and use public transport, which is a key priority for both TfL and Lewisham Council.
TfL is managing the public consultation and delivery of this scheme because the South Circular road forms part of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and is therefore TfL’s responsibility. TfL are joint promoters of the scheme, along with the council.
If the proposals go ahead, when will the works begin and how long will it take?
TfL plans to begin constructing the scheme in spring 2025. The works will take approximately two years to complete. These timescales are usual for a scheme of this scale.
Would I still be able to drive through Catford during construction?
Any scheme of this scale will inevitability cause some disruption to road users during construction and at times diversions will need to be in place. As part of our detailed planning for the construction phase of the scheme, we will make every effort to minimise disruption to local residents and those using the town centre.
We will provide regular updates to local residents and those using the town centre to ensure everyone is kept fully informed of any temporary changes to road use. A dedicated liaison officer will be appointed to specifically deal with any issues arising from the works.
Access to pavements for pedestrians will be maintained as much as possible and safe, clearly marked diversions will be created for pedestrians at points where this cannot be avoided.
What impact will the project construction works have on traffic on surrounding roads? How will this be mitigated?
While it is too early in the progress of the project to provide detailed information about the exact impact of the construction work on traffic in the surrounding area. As part of our detailed planning for the construction phase of the scheme, we will look to put suitable measures in place to mitigate the impact of construction on traffic in the surrounding area.
TfL and Lewisham Council will work closely together to minimise the impact of construction works on traffic in surrounding areas and local residents and key stakeholders will be kept fully informed as work progresses.
Would construction works take place during evenings and weekends?
While detailed plans for the construction phase of the scheme have not yet been developed, it is likely that some weekend and evening work would be necessary. During evening and weekend works, it is TfL policy that any especially noisy work must be completed each evening by midnight at the latest.
As part of our detailed planning for the construction phase of the scheme, we will make every effort to minimise disruption to local residents and those using the town centre. We will provide regular updates to local residents and those using the town centre to ensure everyone is kept fully informed of any evening and weekend works. A dedicated liaison officer will be appointed to specifically deal with any issues arising from the works.
Improvements to walking and cycling
- Across Catford Road by Catford Bridge station and by Thomas Lane
- At the junction of Brownhill Road and Rushey Green
- At the junction of Plassy Road and Sangley Road
Where would the new and improved road crossings be?
As part of the changes, we propose installing new pedestrian crossings at the following locations:
We also plan to widen the pavements between Catford Bridge station and the town centre to create a more comfortable pedestrian experience.
We would also improve the pedestrian crossings elsewhere in the town centre, including new light-controlled crossings on all arms of the new junction of Catford Road, Bromley Road and Sangley Road and simplifying the crossings at the junction of Rushey Green and Brownhill Road.
Would the new pedestrian crossings have countdown facilities to show how long people have to cross?
Our aim is that all pedestrian crossings will include countdown timers to allow pedestrians to see how much green crossing time is remaining.
Why are cycling improvements to the railway bridge not included in these proposals?
Improving cycling safety is vital for encouraging more people to cycle and supporting TfL’s Vision Zero. The Catford Town Centre Framework sets out the Council’s aspirations to increase cycling and walking provision across the Catford Road bridge through a cantilever structure on the southern side of the bridge. The first section of this structure, on the eastern side of the bridge, will be delivered as part of this scheme. The second section of this structure, going over the bridge and on the western side, would be delivered as part of the redevelopment of the existing retail park on the western side of the bridge (Halford/Wickes site). Delivering the cantilever structure in two phases will enable the retail park to be redeveloped in the best possible way for local residents, offering opportunities to uncover the River Ravensbourne and improve the public realm, as well as delivering much-needed housing.
TfL and the Council will continue to explore other initiatives to improve cycling connectivity and complement the improvements to cycling included in this scheme.
Why are shared spaces included in the proposals, when disability groups have opposed them?
Since these proposals were developed for consultation we have been made aware that the Lewisham Disabled People’s Commission have recommended a moratorium on shared spaces for cyclists and pedestrians. We welcome all feedback on this and all other aspects of the scheme which people, including those with disabilities may be concerned about. We will review all consultation feedback with Lewisham Council colleagues to find a way forward which works for everyone as well as it can.
Changes to buses
Which bus routes would be affected?
We have created a list of the bus routes that serve the town centre and how they may be impacted by the proposals, where you can easily find your bus route and how it may be affected.
By removing the need for certain bus routes to travel around the one-way system at Plassy Island, journey times should be improved for some bus passengers.
Will the new and relocated bus stops have countdown displays to show when the next bus will arrive?
Four existing stops (P, S, Y and A) within the Catford Town Centre area already have real-time bus arrival information displays and these will be retained with the relocated stops.
TfL will consider whether the remaining stops would benefit from the installation of such displays as part of this scheme. Some may already be included in our rolling programme of bus stop upgrades.
Some groups do not like bus stop by-passes – why are they included in the proposals?
Bus stop by-passes are widely used in the UK and abroad and the ones proposed for this scheme comply with all current design standards.
We understand that some people find bus stop by-passes a concern or uncomfortable to use, particularly those with visual impairments. The Mayor of London has recently asked Transport for London to conduct a review of bus stop by-passes with a view to identifying ways they could be improved for all groups, such as improving signage.
Anyone with concerns about the proposed use of bus stop by-passes within this scheme is strongly encouraged to submit their views as part of the consultation so that these can be taken into account. This feedback will also be fed into TfL’s review of bus stop by-passes.
Why are trees being removed? Will they be replaced?
Both TfL and Lewisham Council recognise the value of trees in the town centre and the contribution they make to an area. Trees are only removed when absolutely necessary, such as when a scheme could not operate correctly without removing them.
Unfortunately, in this case it is necessary to remove several existing trees in order to deliver the scheme. This includes four mature trees and a number of smaller trees, several of which are in poor health.
To compensate for this, the proposals will include new trees and greening within the town centre. TfL will work with Lewisham Council to deliver a net increase of trees in Catford Town Centre.
The proposed new street layout also opens up exciting possibilities for greener public spaces in Catford. TfL and the Council will examine all opportunities where new green space can be provided throughout the town centre as part of the scheme (e.g. along the new stretch of Catford Road). Comments and suggestions for areas in Catford that could benefit from additional trees and greening are welcome as part of the consultation process.
How will the new changes impact on air quality?
Improving London’s air quality is a priority for TfL, the Mayor of London and Lewisham Council. These proposals aim to improve air quality in the town centre by moving traffic further away from public areas and amenities.
These proposals also aim to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle through the area and make bus journeys more efficient. This will encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport and reduce the number of car journeys in and around Catford Town Centre, helping to improve air quality.
In addition to this scheme, the Mayor of London is delivering a range of measures intended to clean up London’s air, such as the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of London in August this year. This will incorporate parts of the London Borough of Lewisham beyond the South Circular Road that are not currently covered by the ULEZ. You can find out more about this by reading the Mayor’s Air Quality Action Plan.
What would the impact be on the ‘London Squares’ on the A21 Rushey Green?
TfL and Lewisham council recognise the importance of the ‘London Square’ green spaces in Rushey Green and the contribution they make towards a pleasant environment in Catford. Although a some of the current squares would need to be used to create the proposed enhancements to the road for pedestrians and cyclists (as permitted by legislation) the proposals have sought to minimise this and to leave as much green space intact as possible. It is also intended that once the works are complete the squares will be more user friendly for local people and will make a bigger contribution to the life of the town centre in future.
What will the impact be on parking in the town centre?
The majority of parking and loading arrangements in the town centre will remain unchanged, with some key exceptions.
The scheme will require the removal of the Laurence House car park to accommodate the realigned Catford Road. The car park is primarily used by Lewisham Council staff. The Council is currently undertaking a new Staff Travel Survey to understand how staff currently travel to work and will be working with colleagues to develop a new Staff Travel Plan to help those who need to change their travel to work arrangements. It is anticipated that some staff may choose alternative travel methods to get to work, which will also support the wider aims to reduce car journeys and make the town centre a more pleasant environment for everyone.
The proposals also mean that blue badge parking currently available outside 193-195 Rushey Green (by the post office) will need to be withdrawn. The existing bay would be very close to the new junction and cars parked here for a lengthy period could impact on road safety, as well as increasing traffic congestion. The existing bays which can be used by blue badge holders in the area will remain, with the closest options being in Bromley Road, Brownhill Road and Rushey Green.
At the north end of Canadian Avenue, approximately eight parking spaces need to be removed (opposite numbers 5 to 7) to allow for the realigned South Circular road. These parking bays are currently used by permit holders and users of the pay-by-phone parking service. Approximately 18 spaces of permit holder and pay by phone parking will remain on the west side of Canadian Avenue. Other resident only bays on Canadian Avenue are not affected.
Will I still be able to access the Jubilee Pavilion and Sports Ground?
Access to the sports ground and pavilion will be maintained. TfL and Lewisham Council are in discussions with St Dunstan’s College, who own the property, to agree proposals for exactly how and where the new access points will be provided.
How will this scheme interact with the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the borough?
Currently, there is only one Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the borough - in the Lee Green area. Should proposals be brought forward for an LTN in the vicinity of the Catford scheme, TfL and the council would work together to ensure new measures would work together.
How will the proposals for the town centre work with the proposals for changes at the junction of Torridon and Brownhill Roads?
The scheme proposed for the junction of Torridon Road and Brownhill Road is intended to address safety issues at this location and is currently scheduled for implementation next Winter (2023/24). It is proposed that banned turn manoeuvres are introduced under an experimental traffic order (ETRO), not as a permanent measure, which will run for up to eighteen months, and this period will include a six month public consultation, so that feedback can be collected. This consultation is likely to take place during the later part of 2024. Through this consultation feedback and our ongoing monitoring of the experimental measures the operation of the scheme, and the wider implications will be fully understood.
Feedback from the Catford Town Centre proposals will be collated and analysed once the consultation closes. At the next stage of the design process the Catford scheme will be reviewed, based on consultation feedback, and vehicle access from the Corbett Estate to Lewisham hospital further investigated. This feedback will also be taken into account during the experimental process for Torridon/Brownhill Road so that feedback for both schemes will help ensure any eventual changes at either location will work in a complementary way.