Kings Cross Access – crunch time

Kings_cross_station_3_5 It’s crunch time.  Network Rail have not changed their mind on locking Islington residents out of the station.  The people who can change this are Camden Councillors and their planning officers.  We need to lobby them by making formal objections to the plans.  Stefan Schulte has set out how to do it on his excellent email list:

Go the the Kings Cross application direct on the Camden website by clicking here or if that is playing up go here and enter the application number 2006/3387/P.  Then click on ‘comment on application’ in the top left corner and fill in the simple form – remember to tick ‘object’.  Keep it simple – in your comment focus on the loss of residential or local amenity – it makes the area a much less nice place to live and work, the community safety impact, the impact on regeneration, the lack of consultation with the community and the effect on a listed building.  Also ask for a foot bridge to access the station from Wharfdale Road funded by Network Rail from the huge revenue they will earn from having a new platform to charge train companies for.

IT ONLY TAKES FIVE MINUTES – YOU MIGHT REGRET NOT DOING IT ONE COLD WINTER EVENING WHEN YOU STRUGGLE IN THE RAIN DOWN YORK WAY PAVEMENT.

Please get as many friends as you can to object.

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust and Tinder Foundation.
This entry was posted in #googlebridgeKX, Kings Cross Station Refurbishment. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Kings Cross Access – crunch time

  1. Chris says:

    To restrict entry to Kings Cross, one of the largest stations in the country, to one entrance on the west side is perverse from a design point of view, and I presume is driven by one of the following:

    1) to reduce staffing costs by only manning one set of ticket barriers.

    2) to force all passengers to walk past retail units in the main ticket hall, thereby increasing rental values.

    This must be against local and national design guidance and policy – you may well have looked into this already, but I’ll read through this weekend and look up chapter and verse.

  2. Chris says:

    Having looked through the planning application, although I respect most of the design decisions taken, the omission of an eastern exit to the station seems more and more absurd.

    By restricting access to the west side, they are creating a very long impermeable perimeter around the eastern side of the station. This is unlike every other major station in London which has entrances on both sides – London Bridge, Liverpool St, Euston, Victoria, Waterloo, Paddington, Charing Cross, Moorgate etc.

    The report on movement submitted with the planning application makes only one passing reference to the York Way exit, saying that it was considered but disregarded as the number of passengers using this exit was small. I don’t feel this is an acceptable explanation – the number of people using it may be small compared with the total flows through the station, but it is still a significant number (I’ve frequently seen large numbers of people walking out of KX and up York Way after a train arrives).

    There’s no clear justification for removing the entrance – no statement of how much an additional entrance would cost (I doubt it would begin to threaten the viability of the whole development). It’s more likely to be an attempt to increase rental values in the main concourse and reduce staffing costs, at the expense of the communities to the east of the station. This is unacceptable and I hope our councillors at Camden will require this to be changed.

    Policy SKC1 of the Camden Unitary Development Plan states that: ‘The Council seeks the Sustainable Development of the Kings Cross Opportunity Area, which achieves its full potential … to achieve economic, social and physical integration with surrounding communities.’

    This statement is irreconcilable with restricting access to the west side of the station. It is a divisive piece of design, which improves accessibility to the proposed new development to the north, but inconveniences many communities to the east along York Way, Copenhagen St, Pentonville Rd and also to the south-east along Kings Cross Road and Grays Inn Road.

    Policy SD1 Quality of Life of the Camden UDP (Part C) states that: ‘The Council will require development of buildings and spaces that the public may use, including changes of use and alterations where practicable and reasonable, to be designed to improve access and use for all.’ (Closing the entrances to the south and east of the station are irreconcilable with this policy.)

    Policy B1 of the UDP states that: ‘Development should … respect its site and setting (and) be safe and accessible to all.’

    CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) produced a helpful summary of design policy. The most general point, in Planning Policy Statement 1 is ‘Design which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area of an area should not be accepted.’

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