The Anonymous Widower

The Redevelopment Of Hackney Central Station

On Saturday night, I was passing through Hackney Downs station, as I came home from having supper with my son and his partner in Walthamstow.

As I needed some food for today, instead of getting the 56 or 30 bus home, I came down the walkway to Hackney Central station, with the intention of going to the Marks and Spencer by the exit from the station.

The shop was shut, but before I took a 38 bus home, I saw this notice, announcing the redevelopment of Hackney Central station.

The Redevelopment Of Hackney Central Station

The Redevelopment Of Hackney Central Station

When I got home, I searched the Internet and found nothing.  Even Hackney Central Library, which is hosting the exhibition on Tuesday, the 17th, has nothing on its web site.

But I did find this article on the Hackney Gazette entitled Narrow Way in line for multi-million pound revamp, where this is said.

Hackney Council has billed the works as a “dramatic reimagining of one of the borough’s oldest and most vibrant shopping districts”. The proposal is to change the former road and footpath in the Narrow Way with a more attractive pedestrian-friendly surface, with the new-look extending to the junction of Graham Road.

So it looks like the area from Marks and Spencer and St. Augustine’s Tower to Graham Road, is in for a substantial upgrading.

This is a Google Map of the station and the lower end of Narrow Way.

Hackney Central Station

Hackney Central Station

If a decent architect can’t do something superb with the area, I’ll be very surprised. These are pictures of the buildings in the area.

One of the ideas in the Hackney Gazette article is a new public square in front of the Grade 1 Listed Tower.

But dramatic entrance squares like St. George’s Plateau in Liverpool need to be served by proper transport interfaces.

So the development of Hackney Central station is needed to complement the work done on the Narrow Way.

From what I read from the notice, the proposals will solve some of the problems of access to the station from the Narrow Way and other places to the North of the North London Line.

But I believe that there also needs to be an entrance to the station on the South side of the Line onto Graham Road, where there would be access to the buses.



November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | | 1 Comment

Underneath And Above The Arches

London Fields station has improved in some ways with Overgroundisation since I wrote Before Overground – London Fields in September 2014.

It just shows what you can do with an army of cleaners and painters. And a touch of Overground Orange!

But there is still the problem of step-free access to solve.

This Google Map shows how difficult this could be.

London Fields Station

London Fields Station

The site is cramped, with the platform and stairs for the Liverpool Street platform squeezed between the slow and fast lines.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Transport for London, put the addition of step-free access to this station at the very back of the queue.

Unless of course, they could persuade a developer to do something very imaginative and expensive, which they can market as having its own station and a large park with an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Walking From De Beauvoir Town To London Fields

This walk follows the route that I traced in Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town.

I’ll show the Google Map from that post

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

The route, which I started on Southgate Road is traced by the blue line. I continued up Middleton Road to London Fields.

These are pictures I took on the way.

It is an absolutely flat route, except for the dip under the railway. This will surely encourage people to walk and cycle along it.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

When I wrote Walking From Haggerston Station To Mare Street, I hadn’t realised how the scheme to effectively convert Middleton Road into a car-free route, would affect De Beauvoir Town.

Look at this Google Map, which shows the car-free route across London Fields.

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

The map is rather vague about what happens when it crosses the Kingsland Road and all it shows is a wavy line, which if you enlarge it and use a magnifying glass, has something like Northchurch Road written on it. This Google Map shows the area from Southgate to Kingsland Roads.

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

Cycling Across De Beauvoir Town

I think as Middleton Road links up to the South Side of De Beauvoir Square, that the downward kink in the route is De Beauvoir Square, so the route goes past St.Peter’s Church and then up Northchurch Road. For the first part of Northchurch Road, the route is following the route of the Cycle Superhighway CS1, that goes up Culford Road.

The two cycling routes are marked in blue on the map.

If the traffic scheme in London Fields is made permanent, I think I will be pleased, as it would give me a car-free cycle route from my house to the Cultural Quarter of Hackney.

If there were Boris Bike stations in De Beauvoir and London Fields, I wouldn’t even have to buy a bike.

On the other hand the London Fields scheme could generate a lot of cycling traffic through De Beauvoir Town.

Others might not be so pleased!

Later I walked the route and there are photographs of it in Walking From De Beauvoir Town to London Fields

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking From Haggerston Station To Mare Street

I did this walk as the area from East of Haggerston Road through London Fields is going to be traffic calmed, as described in this page on the Hackney Council website.

This report in the Hackney Citizen is entitled London Fields residents clash over car-cutting measures. This is said.

Residents are at loggerheads over council proposals for a car-free zone to the west of London Fields.

During the three-month trial period, due to begin in January, Middleton Road and surrounding streets will be blocked off to motorists, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to travel freely down Middleton Road.

Residents will still be permitted motor access to all streets.

Nothing is as difficult as getting the correct mix of traffic. They also provided this map.

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

Car-Free Route Through London Fields

So I took a lot of pictures as I walked.

My observations.

  • It was a charming walk, through fairly wide streets with lots of trees. Hackney is no crime-ridden wasteland!
  • There was no sign of any traffic calming.
  • The area has a high level of cycling. I suppose being flat helps.
  • There were a few cases of traffic rushing about.
  • Stonebridge Gardens is being upgraded with a new design.

I remember the area from the 1970s, when C ran a short life house for ex-prisoners, just off Mare Street. You could say the area has improved, without too much drastic change. This Google Map shows the area, where I walked.

Haggerston To London Fields

Haggerston To London Fields

Haggerston station is on the East London Line at the West (left) and London Fields station on the Lea Valley Line is to the right of the green space that is London Fields, with its fifty metre heated outdoor pool. Mare Street is the A107 running down the map to the right of the railway.

I live just a few hundred metres from the top left corner of the map.

It will be interesting to repeat this walk, when the traffic calming is complete and they’ve finished painting the bridge.

November 15, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

A Lesson In Traffic Management

On Friday, next door got low water pressure. So now we have a chicane around the hole that Thames Water have dug, whilst they look for the problem!

My road certainly seems quieter, as traffic could be much less and slower.

Perhaps Thames Water and National Grid, should be asked to dig holes in rat runs as a traffic-calming measure!

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

It’s Only Cash Or Contactless Credit Card For Me!

I had a chat with a solicitor, I met on a train yesterday about credit card fraud. I said that I try to use my contactless card if possible and get mildly annoyed if a company expects me to enter my pin for a purchase of about a tenner.

She agreed and said she had been involved in formulating the legal basis of the payments policy of a large retailer. She made some interesting points.

  • Fraud on contactless cards seems to be lower than predicted. We both added a caveat of Not Yet!
  • Some retailers have reported a strong move from cash to contactless cards.
  • Research has shown, that people keep contactless cards very safe, in a place like a deep pocket, to avoid accidental transactions.

I also said that a policeman had told me, that stolen contactless cards aren’t often used in a contactless manner. She said that thirty quid isn’t worth getting caught for, when there’s a bent shop where you can make thousands.

I said that, I once used my ordinary card in a branch of a well-known franchise to purchase an SD card. The lady, who served me, was a Muslim from her dress and when my card didn’t work in the machine, she told me that she’d used the wrong one. So she asked me to put my card in another. Which I did and the purchase was completed.

Within a few hours my card had been cloned and  some expensive purchases were made. My companion confirmed it was a trick beloved of small shops and garages.

So I had been conned by a simple sleight-of-hand! Did the money end up with Islamic State? Probably not, but you do wonder!

I now only use cash or contactless credit card for my smaller purchases.

I also now rarely use small shops, unless I’ve known them for some time. And I certainly wouldn’t use a credit card without it being contactless.



November 15, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment