Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Elephant subways to be removed

I have said it before: "If I mention to someone that I live near Elephant and Castle, they usually wrinkle their nose and mumble something about a pink shopping centre. The area, after being the victim of the Blitz, had to suffer under the assaults of the developers and still hasn't recovered." Well, they are at it again.

Apart from its depressing visual qualities, the area owes its bad reputation to apparent high levels of crime. I must say that in the three odd years I have lived there, I have never been witness to any crime (touch wood) although I have indeed seen police signs appealing for witnesses after shoot outs and such things.

One of the main features of the Elephant is its subway system which allows people to go from one side of this constent flow of traffic to another. I gather that this is where most of the crimes take place. I have a firm believe that as long as one remains away from those subway passages (especially at night), there is little risks involved in being in the area. There are always so many people around that it seem difficult for persons will dark intensions to go about realising them undisturbed.

Today comes the news, that by May next year, those infamous subway passages will have disappeared. The article informs us that they will be "replaced with pedestrian crossings, allowing people to cross the road at street level for the first time in decades" (the news that people can not cross at street level is a bit of a shock for me as I (and other people I have seen) do it quite often, but never mind).

There also plans to remove the round-abouts (at least the southern one) and to "improve" the local bit of greenery (St Mary’s Churchyard) with a children play area.

These are the first visible stpes of the huge regeneration programme currently led by Southwark Council which will culminate in 2010 with the demolition of the world famous shopping center. The whole project should be finished by 2014.

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1 comment:

  1. I remember fondly when I was a Bingo manager in years past, having to go to the Bingo Hall in the E & C shopping centre on 'spying missions'. It was widely accepted that if you won, you didn't shout too loudly or stick your hand in the air, especially on large claims of £1000 or more as everyone else stood up to see who the winner was and would mug them on their way out. It got to the stage where the club had to hire security guards to escort the winners to hired cabs to take the winners home safely.

    Ohhh...I miss those days, my job now is tedious in comparison.


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