Saturday 6 July 2013

Convoys Wharf transport #2: public transport

One of the strongest arguments against allowing Convoys Wharf to be developed to the density that Hutchison Whampoa is suggesting, is the fact that the public transport accessibility of the site is so poor. 

This situation has not improved with the new masterplan, so many of the comments made in our last assessment still apply. Many of the people living in these new properties will have to travel into London for work on a daily basis, so how will they do this?

Planners measure public transport accessibility by measuring it on the PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Level) scale. This provides an assessment of how easy it is to get from the site to public transport, and ranges from 1 to 6, with 1 being the lowest rating and 6 the highest. In London a rating of 4 is generally a good level for major developments such as this to aspire to.

The PTAL rating of Convoys Wharf ranges from 1 to 2 across the site, with 2 being the level at the exit on Princes Street. With Hutchison Whampoa's plans for redevelopment, the rating will rise very slightly, but will still be an average of 2 across the site, and 3 closest to Princes St.

The diagram below indicates the transport plans for the site - in simple terms, HW is in discussion with TfL about the possibility of having a pier for the Thames Clipper river bus, and also proposes either a new bus through the site, or the diversion of one of the existing services that go along Evelyn Street, the 199 having been suggested. 

For a Thames Clipper service to call at the site will require the refurbishment of the existing jetty and the construction of a new pier on the jetty. Although TfL has acknowledged the possibility of a new pier at Convoys Wharf, there is no firm commitment to a date other than during phase one, which is five years long. There is also no confirmation of whether the service would be the regular London-bound boats, or just a shuttle boat to Canary Wharf.

In either case, use of the riverbus service is impractical for many people - not only in terms of its restricted capacity, but also because it serves so few destinations and is slow in comparison to other public transport options.

Aside from the bus and boat services, future residents at Convoys Wharf will have to travel somewhat further afield to access trains or DLR services. Naturally Deptford station is the closest train station to the development, and as the transport strategy points out, the station has recently been refurbished. But although the station is now more pleasant to use and easier to access, and the capacity of the station itself may have been increased, there has been no change to the capacity of the actual trains.

The analysis of available capacity on services from Deptford station depends heavily on completion of Crossrail in 2018; this is predicted to reduce the number of people using London-bound trains from Woolwich, and is entirely credible. However there is no reference to the most recent Office of Rail Regulation figures which showed Deptford station experienced 7.1% increase in usage last year, and this is expected to continue as redevelopments continue and residents move into the new properties.

According to the trip generation figures, 258 people from Convoys Wharf will take the train towards London in the morning peak hour between 8am and 9am. This seems a very low figure considering the total population that could number 10,000 or more. But even taking this point aside, the addition of around 44 passengers to each already-overcrowded train is not a pleasant prospect.

Bus services are also likely to suffer - while the transport plan envisages a bus route through the site, there is no firm commitment to a new service as yet, so it could well be an existing route diverted and hence making journeys longer and more overcrowded than they are now. Almost 500 people from the development are estimated will be catching the bus during the morning peak hour, many presumably going towards Underground or Overground services elsewhere.

Meanwhile less than 200 will catch a river bus, although with only four services in the peak hour, that's still an estimated 50 per boat. The boats in the current fleet each have 220 seats.


  1. Hah they'll pay how much for their ridiculous flats and the lovely new station in Deptford already smells of piss... just about right as they all trot off to a hard days slog in the Shard...

  2. The sooner this eyesore is developed the better.

    Who cares how high the towers are? None of you lot venture down Grove Street anyway. And you don't venture to the riverside now cos you can't get there cos its blocked off.

    I very much doubt that the objectors live in Bowditch or Grove Street. And I bet you a fiver that each of those objectors will come to buy their shopping in Sainsbury's or whatever supermarket goes on this site. Gosh, they might even come for a beer by the river? Sounds awful doesnt it.

    Who cares about the river transport or parking? If anything more frequent buses will be the result and the new tube station at Surrey Canal Road.

    Sooner they crack on and build this the better. Don't want it sitting around like Battersea Power Station for the next 50 years do you?

  3. Seriously, its time for an adult debate about this. The "ante" view gets all the publicity. And its ridiculous. I could understand the case if they were knocking something down to build this. But they aren't. Its an EMPTY SITE. And its a dump.

    All these objections and replanning exercises and delays costs the developer money and its always possible that they will just walk away from the project, if it gets too costly and difficult. But they would of course keep the site. And it will sit empty and idle. Like Battersea Power Station.

    The assumption that the alternative to this design is a better design could well be misplaced in my view. The alternative may be nothing at all - the status quo - a dump and an eyesore.

    Meanwhile all these other glass buildings are shooting up all over the neighbourhood at Creekside and towards Greenwhich and nobody seems to give a hoot. Why focus on this one? Its just ridiculous.

    And I see on the Deptford Dame blog that many are pleased with the Sainsburys towards greenwich on the sticky out bit by the river, and the new footbridge being proposed. So development isn't all it?

    Personally I hope this goes ahead. The place is an eyesore and a dump. If ever there was a spot that needed development and regeneration it would be difficult to find one more deserving than this one.

  4. @anon if you are aggrieved that your opinion is not being heard, why not set up your own blog to put your case, or argue it with a little more clarity? At the moment your multiple, repeated comments merely mark you out as a troll so it's hard to take you seriously.

    It's a Waitrose on the other side of the Creek by the way, as the Deptford Dame makes clear. If you are going to troll the site you would be best to do a bit more research first.

    1. I'm not trolling, I'm ranting, as my thinking develops over lunch. Over and out.

      Freedom of expression is a good thing, I thought.

      Can't be bothered setting up a blog. This one is fine.

    2. That would be great if your thinking was actually developing.

      Someone who can be bothered has clearly taken a lot of time to research and write all this stuff - whether or not you agree with it at least respect the effort and passion that's gone into it by creating a coherent argument.

    3. Anonymous. This site was left as a dump by News International. It was and still is the site of the Royal Dockyard, with five hundred years of history lying beneath the concrete. That is why it is so special. The developer has no intention of honouring, preserving or restoring this heritage, they are simply in the business of making huge fat profits on buildings that won't last more than 30 years. One building that had lasted almost 500 years (the Great Storehouse) was knocked down by News International. These are the sort of people we're dealing with.

    4. As all the history is lying beneath the concrete, nobody can see it now anyway...
      the time to campaign about the development of the site would have been before it was covered in concrete.
      Its too late, deal with it or move out.

  5. Those objecting to the heights of the towers just think its going to spoil some notional far off view (can't think from where though - Tanners Hill?hmmm!). I strongly suspect if you ask the immediate residents in Millard St, Leeway, Grove St, Dacca, Prince, New King St, Watergate St - they'd all be in favour of this. The development on their doorstep will be a big improvement in their surroundings.

    If anyone wants to prove me wrong on this, with some evidence...feel free. I'm all in favour of local democracy.

  6. There's some interesting comments here and as an immediate resident in Barfleur Lane I have my own opinion on the development.

    I do believe that it can only bring worth to the area. The size of the tower blocks is a minor issue. It's the addition of shops, restaurants, the opening of the Thames Path, and possibly a new hotel that will bring growth, money and hopefully some respect to a very neglected area of Deptford.

    I enjoy living where I do and currently take the boat from Greenland Pier to work every day. Additional transport is absolutely needed for the area whether a boat pier, buses or my personal wish for a tube stop within the development itself.

    I hope that the development goes ahead with sensitivity for the history of the area. The developers are considering such projects as the rebuilding of the Lennox so they are not indifferent. I just wish they were allowed to get a move on with the development and we could see a 40 acre abandoned plot become something to be proud of.

    1. That's what we are trying to achieve too - something to be proud of. We just want to make sure that that's what we get.

  7. Thanks Anonymous 25th JUl 16:37. Good to see a bit more balance here. Wld welcome more comments from others like you in the immediate vacinity, to see what THEIR view actually is. (I don't see why those living half a mile away in a nicer spot should ride roughshod over those in the immediately surrounding streets - just doesnt make sense.)

    1. If the planning application was for a two-storey block next to your house, I might have some sympathy for your argument. But it's for 3,500 apartments which will bring potentially 10,000 new residents into the area, having a huge impact on public transport, schools, medical facilities, power and water supply, waste management, traffic, green spaces, the environment, parking, light, and even TV reception. That's why your argument is nonsensical.

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