After a surreal Camden Council meeting where residents weren’t allowed to speak, we now have up to £1 million on the table for refurbishing York Way to make it a better pedestrian environment. It is very unusual indeed to get such a commitment from Network Rail. This came directly from the community campaign so well done everyone. Huge thanks to everyone who came to the meeting you could see that it influenced the Councillors.
But there is still more work to do. Network Rail at the eleventh hour, accepted the community need for access to the station from the North East. This now leads to downstream action in the Section 106 agreement to lock Network Rail into some community benefits. The Network Rail letter is here.Download Network_Rail_Letter_to_Camden.pdf
What we don’t have and need to continue campaigning for:
Access to the station on the East side. Network Rail are doing a feasibility study into bridge options. They say in their letter:
‘we will commit to further pursue the creation of a bridge if in our view a practical, cost-effective and affordable solution emerges from the study’
Camden Councillors got themselves very confused about this – so we need to continue to
lobby hard to make sure a community voice is heard. My pictures showing earlier bridges were disallowed at the meeting.
Timings for the refurbishment of York Way – the community needs this to happen to ameliorate the effects of loss of access at the North East BEFORE that entrance closes. Again, we need to lobby hard for this as the Section 106 agreement progresses. The new CLG manual for streets will help
Timings of the closure of the Wharfdale Road entrance. This is due to close to support building works above platform one this summer (there are some offices there being refurbished). I don’t think this closure is necessary. Network Rail agreed (with me and Stephan Schulte) to look at how this can be delayed or re-planned to reflect community views.
We have two major levers now – the negotiation of the Section 106 agreement that binds Network Rail into the community enhancements. And the dreadful muddle Network Rail and Camden have got themselves into about the need for separate permission for a new railway to feed trains to Platform Y. This could give us grounds for a Judicial Review of the Camden decision. As well as some potential good will from Network Rail – even though we don’t see eye to eye they have been courteous to deal with.
Huge thanks to everyone who has pitched in with argument and advice – too many to mention all but especially Stephan, Sophie, Paul, Phil, Diana, Lisa, Matthew.