As the campaign to restore the original bridge from Wharfdale Road over the train tracks at the north end of King’s Cross station hots up (see yesterday’s posting below), we are getting lots of messages of support. Just to make it really crystal clear, this is about community access to our local stations; maintaining local connections within an already fractured community; and restoring a right of way we have always had to one degree or another, even though our current northeastern station entrance isn’t quite as accessible as the original bridge.
The bridge we are calling for is a smaller, pedestrian version of what was in place from the 1870s, slightly modified in the 1890s (pictured left) and still in place in the 1910s (pictured right). Redevelopment of King’s Cross station should have been an ideal opportunity to give back to the community what had been lost some years ago. It should have been an opportunity to bring the community back together. It should have been an opportunity for Network Rail to show that its Corporate Responsibility Committee isn’t just a lot of hot air. As the committee states in the 2007 annual report:
"In addition to serving direct customers of the railway network, our organisation has the potential to confer much wider benefits on society and the environment. An effective national rail network can provide the backbone for an integrated, socially inclusive and sustainable transport system."
"…We must therefore ensure that, in developing our plans to improve the network, we work with our broad constituency of stakeholders to understand how the railway affects their lives and their communities."
It is so sad that Network Rail can’t see there is still time for them to become local heroes rather than the villains they seem to want to be. If there’s anyone from Network Rail out there, please, please listen to the community whose lives are most affected by the redevelopment.