FHSoc: Prioritising Pedestrians at Forest Hill Rail Station

Relevant update from FHSoc on this theme from a few days ago… regarding the station approach and crossings at both station entrances.


@clausy @ForestHillSociety
Where does the line about Kirkdale come from please? I can’t see it when I follow the link.

Just a note for anyone new to the area: the whole of Kirkdale from Sydenham Hill to the Sydenham Station railway bridge (including the sections formerly known as Sydenham High Street and Sydenham Hill Road) are in SE26 and part of Sydenham. As such, Sydenham Society has been very active here for over 40 years.

Not wishing to diminish from anything FHSoc is doing about the 205 and the station entrance. All good work. But I just wanted to clear up any misunderstanding.



we will continue our campaign for improved pedestrian crossings on both sides of the station: on the South Circular, by making the pedestrian island more safe from vehicular traffic; and on Perry Vale, by improving vehicular sightlines for pedestrians attempting to cross the road.

Hence I posted in this thread. Related to this crossing and the A Crossing at Perry Vale? (by underpass) - there seem to be multiple threads on crossings.

@marymck - I think the Kirkdale reference is just a meta tag pulled out by the widget that reads the FHSoc page - it’s not a quote from the story.

I see they plan to close half the car park.

Maybe I missed something, but I can’t understand how reducing station facilities for electric mass transit is going to help the situation up the road where pedestrians face an unwieldy crossing over an arterial road. [retracted, as my post has been moved from its original topic about the crossing]

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In addition to improving the station’s car park, we will continue our campaign for improved pedestrian crossings on both sides of the station

I don’t think the 2 are related. Whilst the story is about the car park they make reference to the fact they’re sill working on the crossing problem. I just posted it as an FYI as in someone’s looking into it. It’s not solved yet.

And if anything - there are plenty of drivers who exit the car park and try to turn right and block the traffic so closing half of it will help with that, if not the crossing issue.

I agree with your point - but not the end result. They are suggesting turning it into a drop-off point which if anything will create more cars coming in and out and creating more of a problem. Removal of the whole carpark/drop off will reduce the issues (and lets face it - drivers ignore no-right turn signs anyway)


I don’t think closing just one ‘wing’ of the car park will help much. For one, any vehicles entering the remaining side are going to find it hard to turn around and so you will get more queuing and congestion as vehicles try and use the single entrance/exit to the carpark.

There’s not much value in that station car-park itself (there’s the larger car park on the Perry Vale side), but for pickup and drop-off a small car waiting area is valuable, especially when getting elderly friends and family to/from the train.

Personally I’d flatten the whole car park and station building and re-think a drop-off area which could include a bus stop apart from the A205 (so buses don’t block the A205 when stopped), as well as a ramp or stairwell round to the underpass. The station entrance and building could be rebuilt and shifted along the platform a bit and made wider for more capacity (in anticipation of extra platforms), and the area in front of the new station building (currently a bit of car park) could be made into a nicer piazza with cycle storage and a few more kiosks.

Obviously this would take a fair bit of planning and cost lots, but I think a bit more imagination and effort would be worth a better result.


Kind of back to whole knocking the station down and rebuilding with 4 platforms. The post office/ Smiths is too big, plus the station seems to have unused buildings (the old sorting office)

Would help every one

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It might reduce some issues but in doing so create new ones! What about those with mobility issues or luggage that need to be dropped off by the station entrance?.


There are two sides to the station! And if they have mobility issues they are going to have the same issues the other end!
In truth if a bus stop was created in its place it could be used to drop off blue badge holders off the main road but preventing the right turn either way because they would need to come from the Devonshire Rd side

I know there are two sides to the station ( I live on the Perry Vale side of the station myself!) However even when I’m travelling south I find it easier to use the main entrance most of the time and then take the lifts and footbridge over to the the other platform than struggling up or down as the case may be the staircase at the Perry Vale entrance. I’m not sure what you mean by having the same issues the other end. If you mean at the destination station that will depend on where you’re going. Most stations I travel to have step free exits and entrances on both sides of the station if applicable or lifts when there is only one entrance.

@ChrisR That really shows how bad the station design is - instead of putting a lift on the southbound entrance they put in a hide box for staff to surf the internet safely away from passengers (when there at all!)

I do appreciate people have mobility issues - but 90% of people don’t - but still like to think they do. 90% of people driving into the station are fully able and they will take advantage of a situation if given, so it needs to be designed to stop that. As FH station is sandwiched between a major road and a minor road it makes sense to have the vehicle stopping on the minor road (doubly so as NR actually owns lots of unused land next to the car park)

94th busiest station in the country needs full mobility access both sides - but to be integrated into the roads, not impeding them

There was a detailed town centre plan being developed (with the help of a local architect, and other residents with relevant expertise) under the auspices of the Forest Hill Society, which took these matters into account. I’m not sure where that plan has got to - unfortunately the FHS isn’t posting on this site currently.

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Should have never done away with the level crossing. :grinning:

Seriously though, is there a passenger lift between the platform and the road on the down line? I thought there were just stairs on that side. Is it tucked away somewhere? Or have I musunderstood your post @John_Wilson

The ideal place for a lift on the southbound side is inside the gate line on the left hand side. It is perfectly placed, no steps and leads directly to the platform vertically. It could be powered from the bottom, top, or pulled up on the side, so no excuses for not putting a lift in.
It used to be an empty area, but NR decided to move the ticket staff box from the gateline on the right into it.
They never explained why they did it - never got planning permission (because ‘safety’ issues don’t need them). All it did was mean the gateline staff aren’t there!
The argument given for not putting a lift in is that it is technically possible to get onto the southbound platform by going all the way round Waldram Crescent, though the main entrance and up and down the lifts (seriously!)


Agree close the car park altogether. There are so few cars there anyway.

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