Kings Cross Central – Argent BAM Nuttall project runs badly over schedule at York Way and Copenhagen Street

Bam over run BAM Nuttall have manged to over run badly on the hugely inconvenient work at the junction of Copenhagen Street and York Way.  The original works closing the road were due to finish on about 23 september then over spilled to 'early October' (see photo) but major parts of the work are still dragging on today 26 October.

Now Argent have told Stuart Cottis that the works 'should have completed this week but…the programme is likely to overrun by at least three weeks.'  So that sounds like an overall finish date of 19th November.

Elsewhere on Goods Way Argent utility subcontractors have created an awful cycling and pedestrian environment with roads dug up for the long term and intermittently closed pavements as Stuart documents below – see also Argents explanation.

The BAM Nuttall cock-up at the York Way junction is particularly poor – it isn't rocket science building a traffic island, putting in some lights and fiddling with the pavements but they have over run by weeks. I wouldn't want them building an extension for me on this showing, it makes you wonder what they must be up to with the more complicated stuff on the main site. 

Michael who lives on York Way tells me that the temporary traffic lights at York Way/Copenhagen Street broke at the weekend and were stuck on red for ages causing traffic chaos.  This follows on from BAM Nuttall and Camden's shambolic traffic management when the road was first closed.

Once Section 106 is out of the way, the community has little recompense for this sort of disruption – perhaps Argent could persuade BAM Nuttall to make a substantial donation to one of the nurseries on Copenhagen Street or a local children's charity such as SparkPlug or CYP in lieu of any contract penalty payments in the spirit of the 'polluter pays' principle.  I know that Cllr Convery has been active in the background trying to sort all this out, perhaps he and Camden could wangle something?

Stuart Cottis walks daily down York Way and along Goods Way, he recently sent me this about the works:

'The contractors, BAM Nuttall, are still on site and the signs that stated that the works were to finish in 'early October' have now been altered to say the works are 'near completion'! The road junction has been re-connected, but the situation for pedestrians is really quite unsatisfactory as the zebra crossing has not been reinstated and it is quite hard to cross the road at the busy junction especially with the hoardings blocking one's line of vision.

'This is all an example of a wider issue, though, which is BAM Nuttall's and Argent's lack of thought given to pedestrians during the construction phase and woeful lack of information for local residents.

'I walk daily from Rufford Street to St Pancras via Goodsway. This is becoming a daily challenge. I've already mentioned the difficulty at the Copenhagen Street junction but, in addition, the pavement on the western side of the bridge over the Regents Canal has been blocked off for weeks and there is no indication of when it might re-open. Then, because Goodsway now has only one pavement (on the northern side), this requires one to cross York Way outside Kings Place and then to double back and cross Goodsway. When the bridge pavement opens again this will become a bit easier.

'The temporary northern pavement on Goodsway is inadequate for the pedestrian flows – including commuters who work in Kings Place. Indeed, cyclists have also taken to using it as a cycle route no doubt because they are frsutrated that they cannot use Goodsway itself in an eastbound direction. Just the other day, I saw somebody bearing a strong resemblance to a senior member of the Argent management team transgressing in this way and riding his bike along the narrow pavement. This is unacceptable. The pavement desperately needs to be widened – quite often people need to stray onto the road surface to pass other people and the errant cyclists. How long before an accident happens?'

Stuart wrote to Argent and got this response from the Argent construction helpline today, 26 October:

'York Way / Copenhagen Street & Zebra Crossing
 
BAM Nuttall have advised that the programme of works should have completed this week but, due to clashes in the footpaths and tight working areas, the programme is likely to overrun by at least three weeks.
 
Work is currently being undertaken on the central islands and BAM Nuttall will be looking to do the asphalt reinstatements early next week.  They hope to have re-opened the footway in front of the garden area by the middle of next week.  This will leave just the northern eastern footway of York Way.  BAM Nuttall have advised that the north eastern footway will be closed and pedestrians will be diverted around the footway.
 
In terms of the zebra crossing, it is anticipated that works will be completed by 22 November.
 
BAM Nuttall have asked me to apologise for the over running of works and have advised that this has been due to unforeseen circumstances and re-designing.  They are doing their utmost to complete the works ASAP.
 
Western Pavement on the Regents Canal / York Way Bridge
 
The York Way bridge footway closure and subsequent work has been undertaken by EDF Electricity.  After a fault with one of their new cables, they had to re-lay another new cable and joint it, which has been the cause of the huge delay.  My colleague has advised me that he was on site yesterday evening and noticed that the works had been completed by EDF and that the pavement had been re-tarmaced.  
 
Temporary Northern Pavement on Goods Way
 
The northern pavement on Goods Way seems to be working okay at the moment and we have not received any other complaints about it.
 
Cycling eastbound along the Goods Way Pavement
 
I have emailed the King's Cross Project Team to remind them to use the traffic diversion routes of Euston Road and Agar Grove and to dismount from their bikes if they are using Goods Way eastbound.
 
I have asked our contractor to install a 'Cyclists Dismount' sign facing westward at the western end of Goods Way to remind any cyclists that they should get off and walk their bikes eastbound through this section.

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 , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Broken Stuff on the Street, Kings Cross N1C, railwayslands. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kings Cross Central – Argent BAM Nuttall project runs badly over schedule at York Way and Copenhagen Street

  1. Sophie Talbot says:

    What! Goodsway pavement working ok at the moment???? I don’t think so. I walk from Wharfdale Road to West Euston everyday, my route takes me along Goodsway to Midland Road then Brill Place and Phoenix Road. None of the eastern section to Midland Road works for pedestrians or cyclists at all, and with the limited information we have about final design, it looks like it NEVER will. I get so tired of corporate speak responses to real community concerns…. Please Argent, you made so many positive claims in your early master-planning days, why are you ruining it all now (or is the answer the obvious one…)?????

  2. What a pain, I want my cycle route back.

  3. Lisa Tang says:

    Please send further comments about Temporary Northern Pavement on Goods Way via the construction helpline 0800 328 8840

  4. Greer Allison says:

    Argent wish to apologise to local residents and other users who have been inconvenienced by the work on the public highways in York Way and Goods Way over the last few months.

    It is in all our interests to complete the works quickly and with the minimum of disturbance to the local community. Our contractors make every effort to co-ordinate the highway and drainage works with the multitude of gas, electricity, water and telephone diversions that are needed when new junctions are created or roads altered. However, even with careful planning, there can sometimes be delays if materials don’t arrive on time or the utility companies take longer than expected to complete their works. We will continue to do our best to avoid delays and in the future we will try to let you know in advance if the works look like they are going to run over.

    In addition, we accept that we need to provide more information about what we are doing, and why. We also need to make sure that temporary diversions for pedestrians and cyclists are adequately signed. To this end, we will be increasing the amount of information we provide on our hoardings so that local people and the general public can understand what we are doing and how long it will take. We will also explain what the scheme will look like when we have finished this phase of development.

    We are talking to our contractors about the issues that have been raised through our Helpline to see if we can improve the access around the construction works.
    However, there will be some things that we can not change; for example, the provision of a temporary eastbound cycle route along Goods Way. We have discussed this with the Highway Authority (London Borough of Camden) and they advise us that there is insufficient room to introduce this safely, and that they are satisfied that there is an alternative cycle route along Euston Road if cyclists do not wish to dismount and walk along the footpath along Goods Way. We have reminded our staff that these rules apply to them as well!

    We hope you will start to see improvements over the next few weeks and once again our sincere apologies.

    Please continue to let us have your comments through our website (www.constructionatkingscross.com) and Helpline 0800 328 8840.

    We do take your comments seriously and value your feedback.

  5. stuart cottis says:

    The zebra crossing that has been painted on the road surface at Copenhagen Street is wholly inadequate. The paint is not bright enough and is already starting to rub off. The stripes are not wide enough – it looks like it has not been completed to proper highway standards. Also, the lighting on the pavement on Goods Way is dreadful – the section between the BP garage and the new bridge over the Regents Canal is almost pitch black – in the driving rain last night it was not a safe place to be. When is Argent going to start taking this sort of stuff seriously: I think a contribution to a local charity would definitely be in order – no doubt Will and Cllr Convery will be able to point Roger Madelin in the right direction!

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