Campaign to reopen Camberwell Station - Act Now!
In 2014 TFL launched a consultation on proposals to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond elephant and Castle. They offered two options: to extend the route through Camberwell or up to Lewisham (via the Old Kent Road). After receiving a whopping 15,346 responses (96% of which supported the Bakerloo line being extended) the decision was made to focus on the OKR route - not surprising after it was designated as an opportunity area.
The decision came as a blow to local campaign group Peckham and Camberwell Transport (PACT) who had undertaken hours and hours of hard graft drumming up support for the Camberwell option (64% of respondents to the consultation supported it as opposed to 48% for the OKR route) and highlighting the needs of the local community.
But all is not lost! Out of the ashes a new idea was born - a significant alternative to the underground extension that would simultaneously relieve pressure on Camberwell's overwhelmed transport network and improve access to two of the busiest hospitals in the London. Another option was put forward in the consultation that proposed the reopening of the Thameslink station situated, unsurprisingly, on station road!
So What can you do?
At the moment a group of people, including local politicians (headed by the Chair of Camberwell Community Council Kieron Williams), the SE5 Forum and Community Southwark, are working on the best way to take the campaign forward. But we need as many Southwark residents to get behind it as possible.
If you would like to become involved in the campaign then sign-up to the Southwark CAN website and make sure you tick the 'Camberwell Station' box in the 'Interests' column. You will receive updates and information about how the campaign, as well as ways in which you can get involved. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s time for the Department of Transport to support TfL and Network Rail, in re-opening Camberwell Railway Station, on behalf of Camberwell residents, and all Londoners.
Planning on heading down to your local for a couple of pints this evening? Or are you heading out to the local library? If you have a spare couple of minutes we'd love you to print out the petition and gather a few signatures.
Alternatively just get in touch and we can send you over a few sheets. Please note: The key thing to remember when collecting signatures is that we can only use originals, no photocopies are permissible, and only sheets with ‘the petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to re-open Camberwell Station, London’ at the top of the page, to prove that the signatories knew what they were signing. Full home addresses must be collected with each name.
Once you have collected signatures you can drop off the petition at SE5 Forum's market stall (every Saturday at Camberwell Green between 10am-2pm) or drop it into Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, SE5 0HF (FAO Robert Jamieson).
Pressure on Existing Public Transport
Camberwell is home to two world renowned hospitals - King's College and Maudsley - as well as the Denmark Hill campus of King's College London. There are a combined total of around 10,000 staff working from these sites makes them the largest employers in the area.
In 2016/17 King's College alone expects to have booked around 950,000 outpatient appointments and this is set to increase year on year. That's nearly 1 million people requiring access to Camberwell without even considering the support of friends and family that many people need when accessing healthcare, or visitors of patients who require a stay in hospital.
As for Maudsley their (nearly) 5000 staff serve a local population of 1.3 million people. They provide inpatient care for just shy of 4,000 people each year and treat more than 60,000 patients in the local community.
Despite the scale of healthcare delivery and teaching that is taking place in Camberwell, it is not part of the London Underground network and is only served by one railway station. This leaves patients, staff, students and visitors heavily reliant on bus services, including those that run via Walworth Road which has significant traffic congestion problems (anyone travelling on a 176 down to the Elephant at 5pm will knwo what we mean). Journey times to the hospital sites from Elephant and Castle, the southern end point of the Bakerloo line, can be as much as 30 minutes due to the volume of traffic.
Trains are at full capacity during rush hour and people often experience difficulty boarding as this is currently the only route
into central London and beyond aside from the bus services.
It is evident that more is needed.
There is an alliance forming in Southwark that is pushing for Camberwell Station to be reopened. At the head of a long line of individuals and local groups that support the campaign are the borough's politicians. Helen Hayes and Harriet Harman recently sent a letter to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling asking for a meeting to discuss future plans for the station.
The letter (which you can read about here) said: “The reopening of the station would come as much needed relief to residents of Camberwell, who have suffered from poor transport links for years, especially following the disappointment of the proposal for the Bakerloo Line extension to only serve Old Kent Road, and with the ongoing disruption to Southern Rail services."
Harriet Harman has also lent her support to a Parliamentary petition (which you can see below) requesting that the House of Commons urges the Government to re-open the station.
At a local level Southwark council have also been very supportive of the scheme and are currently working with TFL on a Strategic Outline Business Case, which is likely to be completed in May. This business case will outline whether TFL and Network Rail believe that the project is feasible.
Peter John, in his role as Leader of Southwark Council and Camberwell Councillor, is particularly keen to see a railway station come to Camberwell. He has even gone as far as to say: "We will not rest until we have a reopened Train Station in Camberwell."
Southwark Council have also included the site of the old station in their list of proposed development sites as part of the New Southwark Plan, stating that redevelopment of the site must: "Provide a new station at Camberwell with an exit to the east and west of the railway viaduct."
We can also go as far as stating that the campaign has cross-party support. Boris Johnson (when Mayor of London) stated that: “Initial feasibility indicates it would be possible to construct a modern station at this location if timetable changes could be made to accommodate an extra stop."
History of Station
Camberwell Station shut its doors to passengers 101 years ago, and has since been reclaimed by nature.
It was opened in October 1862 by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) as part of the company's ambitious "second London railway." In May 1863 the name was changed to Camberwell New Road but in October 1908 reverted to Camberwell.
As with many other London stations during World War I, wartime restraints forced it to close to passenger traffic in April 1916. Before the outbreak of war, the station had suffered dwindling passenger usage following the introduction of electric tram services in the area. It remained in use for goods traffic until April 1964.
Today, the original station building located on the west side of Camberwell Station Road is in use as a converted mechanic's garage. At track level, nothing of the two side platforms remain but small fragments of the degraded island platform are still visible. The goods yard is now occupied by a residential development.