Lewisham Gateway Part I: Reprioritising people and place

16.11.23 3 min read by Chris Coxall

20 years of delivering connected, people-focused regeneration.

We embarked on our journey at Lewisham Gateway 20 years ago, to deliver a place that was connected and focused on community.

Our approach has delivered a new beating heart for Lewisham, packed with homes and amenities: over 1,000 new homes, 25,000 sq ft of shops, cafes, and restaurants, 15,000 sq ft of affordable office space, a gym, a 9-screen multiplex cinema, and new public amenity spaces.

Part I: Reprioritising people and place

Lewisham Gateway is one of the most accessible places in South East London. Despite a wealth of public transport options, over decades the opportunity to create a truly connected place was never seized. Instead, the area became heavily influenced by the private car.

A busy roundabout and a congested traffic island sprawled over the town centre. It offered little to the community aside from poor air quality, noise, and a hostile pedestrian experience. The road network cut off the town centre from the train station, Docklands Light Railway, and the bus interchange on its doorstep.

Lewisham Gateway, Lewisham
Lewisham Gateway residential

In 2004, we brought together a partnership made up of Lewisham Council, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, and others to re-imagine the site. We started with the road network.

We carefully planned the re-modelling of the highway. With intelligent phasing we were able to divert services and utilities and build much of the new road whilst keeping the town centre operational. This limited congestion and the subsequent impact on air quality and fuel consumption.

By changing the highways configuration, traffic flows, and removing the established roundabout we not only unlocked the regeneration site, we re-prioritised sustainable travel immediately. A new pedestrian link running from the station to the high street entrenched this further still.

Lewisham Gateway
Lewisham Gateway

Site-specific traffic management has also meant we’ve saved 550,000 vehicle miles in the second phase of the project alone – enough to travel around the world 22 times.

By delivering new homes, alongside workspace and a retail offer not seen in the town centre for years, we have created a more sustainable and connected place for people to live. A place where public transport is the first choice.

With thousands of people living in this location, there is an opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of ‘car miles’ each year, improve air quality, and promote sustainable transport. Genuine placemaking.

Lewisham Gateway 2023

This, in turn, has supported the continued development of the town centre. We have also made important financial contributions for town centre infrastructure. Lewisham Gateway is now a thriving, well-connected place for people to work, live and enjoy.

We’ve re-prioritised sustainable public transport within Lewisham town centre. The new neighbourhood we’ve created will use public transport as the first, and perhaps only, choice. It’s re-prioritising people. It’s sustainable place-making in action.

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