Silly season starts and the petition hits 550

Not bad, as we enter quiet August with so many people away, our petition has just hit 550. The next major publicity events are not planned until September when the holiday season comes to an end. These include the launch of the report from the public meeting, a one-day stall at Chapel Market and a couple of very public demonstrations. The steady growth of the petition without any publicity is very heartening indeed. Not so good is that Network Rail have still not properly responded to the open letter, you can help by sending your own version, a template can be found on this site.

If you haven’t already asked everyone you know to sign the petition, please do. They just have to go to http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/kxaccess/ to sign up, they’ll be sent an email by Downing Street to verify their signature and that’s that.

And if you’d like to get involved in any of the events we are planning, do contact us for more information.

A quick recap on why we are campaigning:

Network Rail is spending over £400 million on redeveloping King’s Cross Station. This entails:

1. Building a new platform to increase the capacity of the station which will close off the entrance at York Way/Wharfdale Road;

2. Removing the concourse at Euston Road to reveal the original double arches of the station and making this area exit only;

3. Closing all other entrances to the station; and

4. Building a new ‘Western Concourse’ which will be the only entrance to the station.

We’ve put together our own case. We believe that as Network Rail is closing entrances and by doing so gaining in revenue, they should replace these vital access points with, at the very least, a fully accessible pedestrian and cycle bridge from York Way/Wharfdale Road to the western side of the station near the new concourse. If they fail to do so, a brick curtain will be sealed from the junction of Euston Road/York Way in the south right up to Goodsway/York Way in the north and they will fail to meet their own corporate responsibility commitments. A bridge would cost Network Rail less than 1% of their redevelopment budget for the station.

Safe walking routes in King’s Cross

Living Streets logoYou may remember that Living Streets carried out an audit into ‘walkability’ around the station earlier this year. Many members of our community participated, taking time out of busy lives to assist Living Streets to assess local walking routes. This was for a major report commissioned by Transport for London (TfL). Months have passed and no report has emerged, so what has happened to it? Living Streets said today:

The reports were commissioned by TfL but I understand that they have not yet been passed to Network Rail. The report has been circulated to the King’s Cross Interchange Steering Group for comment. This group includes representatives from across the TfL directorates covering different modes, as well as representatives from Camden Borough Council.

“Peter McBride (head of cycling, walking and accessibility at TfL) was due to meet with the GLA’s Transport Environment Committee in May to present the findings of this project but unfortunately this meeting was cancelled due to the election and has not since been rescheduled. The audit reports have gone to the GLA, via Becky Upfold in the Transport Team, and have been passed to the Green party GLA members (who originally requested the project), as well as members of the Transport Environment Committee. The report is not yet a publicly available document and was produced in response to the Green party request and as such, TfL have asked us to point out that the report is to be used to provide a better understanding of the pedestrian environment around London’s mainline stations and to enable better planning when improving the stations.”

Strange then that vital information about walking routes around the station is not being made available either to the public or to Network Rail. King’s Cross is being redeveloped right now. Network Rail is removing a key walking route and not replacing it with anything. Surely TfL and the Greater London Assembly must see the urgency of releasing the report’s findings as they relate to King’s Cross?

If you have contacts at TfL or the GLA, please ask them to raise this and press for the Living Streets report to be released as a priority.