Forest Hill Tunnel Bypass to Open in April 2023

Over the last year, underneath the high street the Forest Hill Society embarked on a top-secret project to radically improve the future of Forest Hill town centre.

More information:


Lockdown and Covid restrictions presented some difficulties for the mining volunteers, but the use of breathing apparatus and the three separate entrances, has allowed work to continue below ground with up to 18 people at any time while maintaining social distancing. Many of the volunteers are from the Forest Hill library, but the temporary closure of the library has meant that many have had spare time to devote to digging - it turns out library staff make excellent miners - and remarkably quiet. The school closures during lockdown allowed us to make use of child labour, with children as young as four able to enter the smaller tunnels sections before adults.

The entrances were strategically chosen to avoid the need to dig down very far to pass under the hill. The South London Clay is easy to dig through without the need for machinery and will yield important raw materials for the local pottery industry. In fact, there is now so much clay available that local schools have been drafted in to produce hundreds of vases for families and friends.


I wish… :sob:


With the children back at school after Easter, I suggest bringing in a team of trained badgers to tackle the harder bits - excellent diggers!


Three sites were chosen for the secret tunnel entrances to begin the three sections of tunnel. Until they are connected, the three separate tunnels have been nicknamed ‘Rod’, ‘Jane’ and ‘Freddy’.

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This is fantastic news. And should help to alleviate some of the concern about any pollution created by the ULEZ border.

Oh… what a great time to be in Forest Hill.


Flora Pilo must be busy with press enquiries on a day like today :wink:

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I do hope the venting chimney doesn’t impact the Horniman’s tree planting plans. Looking forward to Dulwich Woods continuing their urban advance across the old route :sunglasses:

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It’s ok, the venting chimney can avoid the Horniman by using the Victorian folly at the top of the hill in Liphook Crescent. Best not leave washing out next to it though.


It’s a shame there is so little ambition in local and London-wide leadership, that projects like this do not have serious consideration. The deeply cynical nothing-can-ever-change attitude represented by the Forest Hill Society is one reason why we we can’t even get an improved pedestrian crossing next to the station. There is no serious critique of the status quo, because that wouldn’t be playing nicely - which seems to be the main priority.

I can imagine the Horniman Gardens and the triangle merged - the top of Forest Hill an enlarged green area. It doesn’t seem too fanciful compared to major projects like the channel tunnel, QE bridge, Cross-Rail, Thames-Link etc etc

I find this to be a calumny against some very hard-working individuals giving their time freely to improve their own neighbourhood for the benefit of all:

Those involved more closely would be able to come up with a long list of achievements, but off the top of my head the FH Society played a critical role in reconstruction of the Forest Hill pools, and was the driving force behind saving the library. I’ve been to events it has organised that have tried to take a helicopter view of different ways the town centre could be rethought altogether, and urge you to rethink your comment.


I have to say that I agree with Jon’s view of the FHS. They’ve done a lot of good things for Forest Hill from Christmas trees, to brightening up the town with plants and flowers to representing us on planning things. Basically - if something is within their control or they are able to input, they do so. And remember, they are doing this as volunteers in their own time. I’m sure anyone else with great ideas and time to help bring them to fruition would be made very welcome.

Blaming them for the lack of action on a crossing or the inability to change the route of the South Circular feels a tad harsh…


I disagree with you on the attitude of the Forest Hill Society. Although I’ve been a member for several years I’ve not been able to be active but remember reading a couple or so years ago that the FHS had got together with some local architects in an attempt to look at ways that the area around the station could be improved and especially how a better crossing could be provided. This was also discussed during the AGM in October which was conducted via a Zoom call and which I was able to attend for the first time as it didn’t clash with anything as it has done in the past. Our local MP Ellie Reeves was on the call and updated us on the slow progress with TfL as with their financial issues over the last year they don’t currently the budget for this type of work but it is something that she will continue to raise with them…