Network Rail in communications debarcle – again!

To Alastair Metcalfe
Network Rail
27 December 2008
Thankyou for circulating the letter last week regarding works to remove the Handyside Bridge at King’s Cross Station. One small point, I live in a block of flats. I realise for many commuters, including those working for Network Rail, the concept of living in an inner city block of flats is likely to be somewhat foreign, however it would be very helpful if next time a letter is circulated to give warning of disruptions resulting from works it is circulated to each flat. I was fortunate enough to pick up the single letter delivered to our entire block which was addressed to ‘The Occupier’. I then pinned the letter up on the wall so that everyone could see it – however it could so easily have been opened by any other tenant who may not have been so community spirited in ensuring that all occupiers got to see the contents.
I wonder if ypu might be able to find out whether Ian Fry ever intends to reply to my letter to him dated 7 October 2008 (a copy of which can be seen at This is the second time a letter sent to Ian has taken several months to elicit even an acknowledgement. I have before asked whether Network Rail’s espoused policy of community engagement is a one way street, with Network Rail telling us what is going to happen rather than asking our views or responding to points we make. This latest example of one-way communication seems to confirm my worst fears. If there is anything you can do to help get a response to my letter which raises critical points about Network Rail’s propensity to double-speak I would be very grateful indeed.
Sophie Talbot

Phil Jeffries

Phil JeffriesAs a direct result of Phil Jeffries campaign work, King’s Cross is a better place than it would have been without him.

Further, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is a better design than it would have been without him.
And those are just two examples of the difference he made to our community.

Phil died of cancer last week and all involved in this campaign I’m sure would want to mark his passing. A full obituary will appear on our parent site on Sunday. Anyone wishing to share their memories of Phil and good wishes for his partner Diana, please leave your comments on that site.

Meanwhile, Phils obituary has been published on King’s Cross Development Forum’s site and on King’s Cross Railway Lands Group site.

He will be very, very sorely missed both by those close to him and by those, like me, who have benefited from his work from a distance. Our thoughts are with Diana…

If I was a rich man….

A friend of mine recently posed this question as she was working on some exercises based on Fiddler on the Roof at drama school. It got me thinking….

Fiddler on the RoofOne thing I’d love to do is to buy the entire Zone A plot of King’s Cross Central, then chair a partnership with Argent, Network Rail, LB Camden and LB Islington to turn the lot – Zone A plus a wide bridge across the tracks at the back of King’s Cross Station (like Exchange Square at Liverpool St Station), into a huge public open space complete with waterfall, kids play areas, youth hang out zones, permanent memorials to Lisa Pontecorvo and Phil Jeffries, space for a bit of street theatre, viewing platform for train enthusiasts, space for Camley Street to raise awareness about local urban wildlife, really attractive and grabbing signage to Somers Town and South Caledonian Road, little plaques explaining local history and showing where buildings like Culross used to be and why they were important, and much, much more.


Now that really would be a community gain!!!