KX Station zero hour

Ribbon Cake Unveiled just an hour ago by newly appointed Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond, Platform Zero is a key milestone in the transformation of our local station, but its impact may not be so positive for the local area unless Network Rail is persuaded to take the needs of the community into account. (Pictured left Ian Fry Network Rail's (NR) Project Director, Robin Gisby Director of Operations & Customer Services at NR, Transport Minister Philip Hammond and representatives of East Coast Mainline. Photo by Tobias Newland)

As the longest platform at KX Station, Platform Zero increases capacity preparing it for a future where rail is to be a crucial strand in sustainable transport policy. Alastair Metcalfe, responsible for community liaison at the Station praised the teamwork that went into preparing the platform for today's successful launch.

P-and-g2 Also present were our local representatives Jennette Arnold – newly elected Deputy Chair of the Greater London Assembly – and Cllr Paul Convery responsible for regeneration, planning and leisure at Islington Council. Both have been highly supportive of community calls for a more accessible environment in and around the station.

Sign-to-zero2 Interestingly local groups including this website were not invited to the event, apparently because there would not have been enough room for us. Strange given that today is likely to be the emptiest the platform will be for a long time. Two community activists did manage to attend and congratulated Ian Fry personally on achieving what is a major step forward for our vital strategic transport hub. Ian hopes to unveil the first section of the refurbished station roof in August, fans of KX Station are particularly looking forward to seeing light stream through turning our rather dark station interior into a warm and welcoming place.

There was something missing this morning. I wonder what it could have been? I walked from Wharfdale Road to Platform Zero – a mere couple of metres away, yet I had to walk down what is now an uninterrupted brick wall running the entire length of the station along York Way, the boundary between Camden and Islington boroughs, and double back on myself to walk the entire length of the station again to get to the end of the platform. The loss of the York Way entrance to the rear eastern side of the station is a price worth paying to ensure the future best management of what has always been an overcrowded amenity. This would have been totally balanced by replacement of the old Battlebridge Road, the call for a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge at the back of the station is still being ignored by those with the power and funds to build it. Tobias2 The picture on the right shows where the bridge used to join York Way; a bridge whose feasibility has been proven time and again: a simple way of holding our community together, improving permeability across the station, encouraging use of local walking routes and completing a cycle route from the Angel to Marylebone completely avoiding the infamous A501 ring road.

An engineering project waiting to happen and a new London destination attraction – just think what this bridge could look like and how it could be a hugely positive addition to both the station and its local community.

Bridge without text

 

 

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie writes for King's Cross Community Projects and occasionally on her own behalf. http://www.kccp.org.uk @KXCommunity sophie@kccp.org.uk
This entry was posted in Kings Cross Station Refurbishment, Transport, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to KX Station zero hour

  1. stephan says:

    Sophie,

    Thanks for your excellent posting (as usual) and exposing the problems faced by local residents in regard to the stations re-development.

    Not only is it a long walk around the station, but by having a bridge we would increase the amount of street traffic at this interection (York Way, Wharfdale Road). Then maybe the two derelict shopfronts (empty since the beginning of the Regent’s Quarter re-generation), might become more worthwhile properties.

    One other complaint worth mentioning. When Platform 0 was added, we who live across the street thought we would finally be losing the two standby diesel locomotives that were parked there and that were fired up at all times during the day and evening – belching out fumes and soot. Alas, I see a separte set of tracks, so I must assume it will only be a short time and our annoying locos will be back. Maybe someone from Network Rail would like to clarify that point!

    Stephan Schulte
    York Way

  2. Tobias Newland says:

    Such a contrast with the way that you can cut across St Pancras station from east to west. The way Kings Cross Station “turns its back” on York Way and blocks permeability for cyclists and pedestrians reminds me of the comments of Michael Berlin of Birkbeck in his recent talk at the British Library (‘This Disgraceful Location: Revealing St Pancras’ Past through Maps’). He felt that that the British Library did a similar thing to Sommerstown. The uncompromising British Library frontage onto Ossulton Street reminds me of walking along “the uninterrupted brick wall” of York Way. St Pancras leads the way, Kings Cross and the British Library need to follow.

  3. Paul Convery says:

    There was an awful lot of stuffed shirts present (sorry if that’s an old fashioned phrase). And an awful lot of photographers. Amazingly the Mayor of London did not gatecrash the gig. So for a little light relief, when no-one was looking, Assembly Member Jenette Arnold and I pretended to cut the commemorative cake. That’s what the 3rd picture shows. Thanks to Sophie for snapping it.

    Sadly no-one get to nobble the Secretary of State and suggest Network Rail builds the community a bridge. Earlier that morning, Stephan Schulte had correctly mentioned that a pretty substantial pedestrian bridge has already been built across the tracks … but that’s just for construction workers. He’s right I got the “tour” a few weeks ago and walked over that bridge. It’s pretty sturdy. So, how about just moving it about 60 metres north?

  4. Dan Stone says:

    I’m a bit fuzzy on my facts here, but didn’t either TFL or Network Rail or Argent commit £1m for improvements so far unspecified on York Way next to the station? Perhaps that money could be used to build the bridge

  5. Sean says:

    The York Way money is £750,000 K and is desperately needed to change this pedestrian unfriendly, shabby , space inefficient part of KIng’s Cross. We need both the bridge and York Way improvements.

  6. Tony Rees says:

    Once the new entrance to KX station is finished fans of the station will have to buy a ticket to enjoy the light streaming through the refurbished shed roof as, unlike St Pancras station, it will no longer be a public space.

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