April 16 2014 Latest news:
by Alisha Rouse
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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."
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.
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.