South London

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South London area

South London (known colloquially as 'South of the River') is the area of London south of the River Thames. Some neighbourhoods north of the Thames have South London postal codes, but these neighbourhoods are classified as West London. In general, South London is less densely built-up and has more open public spaces and parks than the North.


[edit] Definition of the area

South London is the entire area of Greater London south of the River Thames. Largely residential, it has fewer historic sites and important government and business sites than Central London, simply because London grew out of the cities of Westminster and London, both on the northern bank of the river. The southern bank, at the time of the Roman settlement, was a swampy, poorly drained area of land which deterred building.

The London boroughs that make up this informal area are Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Richmond (though this is the only borough which straddles both sides of the Thames), Kingston, Sutton and Merton. The total area of this group of boroughs is 645.78 kmĀ² and the total population in 2004 was 2,835,200.

[edit] Present and future

Many large scale developments are taking place, and planned for South London. Many of the largest developments are urban regeneration projects, in which deprived areas are given multi-million/billion pound masterplans. These projects are taking place in Elephant & Castle, Lewisham, and Kidbrooke. Other developments include Greenwich Peninsula, the site of several thousand new homes, and Battersea Power Station, which will be renovated as a leisure, retail and entertainment complex

The Thames Gateway project is now extending regeneration south of the Thames, with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation responsible for planning and delivery of the project in South London, although many of the projects are taking place in East London.

Several large towers are planned for South London. These include what will be the tallest tower in Western Europe, Shard London Bridge (310m) in Southwark. Other notable proposed towers include Beetham Tower (175m), Doon St. Tower (168m) and St. Georges Wharf (181m).

[edit] Transportation

Lewisham, an important transport hub

The London Underground network is largely concentrated in North London – there are only 30 stations south of the river compared to 246 north of it, despite roughly equal populations. Historically this was due to the early development of an effective electrically powered surface railway system in South London, and not unsuitable geology as is sometimes suggested. It meant that for decades there was a separation of public rail transport networks on either side of the Thames. Seven of the 12 tube lines have sections south of the river. These are the East London Line, Bakerloo Line, Jubilee Line, Northern Line, Victoria Line, Waterloo and City Line and District Line.

South London's overground train network, however, is the most extensive in London. The major train operators in South London are South Eastern, Southern, South West Trains and First Capital Connect. The main termini for South London commuters are London Bridge, London Charing Cross, London Victoria, Blackfriars, London Waterloo and Cannon Street, although only London Bridge and Waterloo are actually south of the river.

London's only tram system is located in South London. It is the Croydon Tramlink, which was inaugurated in 2001.

There are various transport projects planned in South London. The Thames Gateway Bridge will span from Thamesmead in South London to Beckton in East London. This project is to help the problem of a lack of river-crossings east of Central London. The East London Line extension will mainly take place in South London. The lines will be extended from New Cross to Croydon and Clapham. The Docklands Light Railway extension to Woolwich is under-construction, and will be completed in 2008.

[edit] Places of Interest

Capsules at the top of the London Eye

There are many notable places in South London. The south bank of the Thames has the London Eye, Lambeth Palace, the Tate Modern art gallery, the Saatchi Collection of contemporary art, The Globe Theatre, Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park. Clustered around Waterloo Bridge the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, the National Film Theatre and the Hayward Gallery are often collectively referred to as the South Bank arts complex.

Further afield are:

[edit] North London vs. South London rivalry

Londoners tend to consider themselves as belonging to one or the other side of the city. Some South Londoners complain that people from North London look down on and ignore them and their region. Peter Sellers famously joked about South London in his sketch Bal-ham: The Gateway To The South. Supposedly, South Londoners returning from a night out in the West End will be unable to find a cab driver willing to accept their fare, the stock response being "Sorry mate, I don't go south of the river". A minority of North Londoners consider north of the river as North London, when in fact, North London is generally agreed to begin roughly around Camden, St John's Wood and Islington.

Time Out magazine ran an article comparing North and South of London, in which South London came out victorious. [1] Run London: A Nike-organised event, in which North and South Londoners wear green and orange shirts respectively, and compete against each other over 10km.

[edit] Notable sports teams

Informal divisions of London

North West | North | North East

West | West End | Central | East End | East

South West | South | South East

[edit] See also

South London

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