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‘Major commerical development’ planned in £50m makeover of Finsbury Park station

12:45 16 January 2014

Finsbury Park rail station

Finsbury Park rail station

Archant

Finsbury Park station is undergoing an “ambitious” £50million makeover, with a new ticket hall and lifts.

"It’s going to be easier for commuters, and we’ve finally got the step-free access that we’ve been campaigning for for years.
They’ll double the capacity for commuters and ease congestion, and the access will really improve things."

Finsbury Park Trust spokesman

The interchange, which hosts National Rail services and both the Victoria and Piccadilly Tube lines, will get a new spiral staircase by the spring as well as new gates and a “major commercial development”.

It is hoped the work will help reduce congestion and meet the demands of the busy Victoria line. Some improvements are already under way.

Phil Hufton, Transport for London’s chief operating officer for London Underground, said the company is “in discussions with third party developers, Network Rail, and the London Borough of Islington about plans to introduce a new western station entrance and step-free access via lifts from street to platform level”.

The news has been welcomed by campaigners, including the Finsbury Park Trust, set up to ensure the area gets the investment it needs.

An artist's impression of how Finsbury Park station could look.An artist's impression of how Finsbury Park station could look.

A trust spokesman said: “It’s going to be easier for commuters, and we’ve finally got the step-free access that we’ve been campaigning for for years.

“They’ll double the capacity for commuters and ease congestion, and the access will really improve things. I’m really pleased with the recommendations.

“That and the spiral staircase are two major improvements that we’ve been wanting for years. It’s one of the busiest stations in London after King’s Cross.”

Stroud Green councillor Katherine Reece also welcomed the move, especially as “it clearly needs improvement, as anyone who has used the station will know”. But she did raise some concerns.

“The Lib Dems are concerned that there is still very limited step-free access at the station even with this investment,” she said.

“A better and more accessible station will improve Finsbury Park and make it easier for people to visit and enjoy the area’s amenities, the local restaurants and pubs.

“I look forward to using the revamped station and ticket hall when the improvement works are finished. We will continue to call for more step-free access.”

The station opened in 1861 and was home to the first Piccadilly line services between the station and Hammersmith. The line now has more than 176million users per year.

1 comment

  • The access changes are a move in the right direction, but this is a missed opportunity to make substantial improvements. Again TfL is doing the minimum to meet its step-free targets, rather than leading in the provision of access for all and those with special needs in particular. But it is not just about having the lifts. A Freedom of Information answer reveals that in 2013 there was sharp in instances where staff shortages resulted in tube station lifts being closed. And that means disabled passengers being stuck on the platform and unable to exit the station without assistance. The article's headline makes it clear that the one area where TfL is going for the maximum is its focus on commercial development. At station after station the priority is to exploit the potential for shops, offices, or flats. The public should even be guarded about welcoming enlarged ticket halls. The planning application for a new public concourse at Tottenham Hale station reveals that the walls are actually the foundations for 'over-station' development with a nine-storey tower of offices and homes. Look-out for similar over the proposed new entrance to Finsbury Park. The artist impression causes alarm too by showing high-rise flats encroaching onto Finsbury Park. Mind you; if Haringey Council is renting the park out for three months of large summer concerts then why should other statutory bodies be concerned with protecting public parks from development or stopping the annexing of green spaces.

    Report this comment

    MartinBall

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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