York Way – over £300k S106 money still to be spent locally

Local people with long memories will remember the campaign to provide a footbridge over the tracks behind Kings Cross at Wharfdale Road in compensation for the closure of the entrance to Platform 1 at that spot.  Instead Network Rail made a S106 agreement with Camden Council for about £1 million as compensation.  Several local people have been trying to work out what has happened to the money.  The wonderful FOI site ‘What Do They Know’ has helped me with an FOI request to achieve a sort of statement of account from Camden.  The bottom line is that there is £382,198.41 still to spend.  I am grateful to officers for taking the time to tot up the balance.  It isn’t clear to me what the further work mentioned is to be – that’s for another article.  Text from Camden follows:

Following public consultation in late 2010, works to improve York Way were started in 2011, but are currently postponed pending mandatory Transport for London approval for the next phase of the scheme. Work to date includes highway drainage work and extensive widening of the western footway. The next phase will continue the footway widening process right down to the bottom of York Way to the junction with Euston Road. However, TfL are currently working on their own scheme to improve the network at that junction and this is causing further works programming issues. Beyond that changes are also planned to the Wharfdale Road junction and improvement works on the eastern footway.

Following on from advice previously given in 2009, several payments have been made from the Environmental Improvements Contribution. As requested, these are set out in table form below:

Paragraph 4.22 of the S106 – Environmental Improvements Contribution. A total of £601,592.34 has been received.
Sum spent      Purpose
£2,810.00      York Way bus survey
£19,800.00    Two payments (£13,000 and £6,800) for York Way Urban Initiatives Study
£74,664.62      Design fees for York Way improvements scheme
£122,119.31     Works costs, including stockpiled materials

£382,198.41 is retained, to be spent on the purposes as set out in clause 2.27 of the S106 agreement

Network Rail paid a Footbridge Contribution of £258,941.34 in January 2009 (in line with paragraph 4.18.7 of the S106 agreement). This sum is to be used for the same purposes as the Environmental Improvements Contribution.

As stated in the previous response, a £100,000 highways contribution was received in June 2009.  This sum has not yet been spent but will be applied towards the purposes defined in paragraph 2.39 of the S106 agreement.

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 Kings Cross Station Refurbishment, Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to York Way – over £300k S106 money still to be spent locally

  1. Sophie Talbot says:

    I’ve had sight of a report, another unpublished one agh!, that lists a number of works that could and should be done as a matter of priority to the sh*tty York Way (apols for the language, but frankly after 22 years I’m at the end of me tether here!)… zebra crossing at Caledonia St, removal of the redundant island at the Wharfdale Rd crossing, tree planting on the western side of YW and lighting the eastern range of the station to make it a feature rather than a Berlin Wall as it currently is. And that’s in addition to the bit of pavement widening already done and the Euston Rd crossing so called improvement happening now……

  2. Sean Murray Retail Marketing | Connected thinking. Connected talent says:

    Great work Will. If Network Rail made available £1m, is there not a gap in the numbers – have I understood this correctly? Also, as you said, the failure of Camden to deliver anything but a widening of the pavement in part and in a place it’s least needed, is for another post.
    The pavement has been widened from the junction of Caledonia Street to Wharfdale Road. The busiest pedestrian activity is from the corner by station to the bus stops where no improvements have been made. Camden are not responding to our numerous enquiries asking what’s happening and when. We’ve mow asked our (Islington) councillor Paul Convery for help and expect an update soon.It’s worth remembering the promised scheme included a pedestrian crossing point near the Premier Inn hotel.

  3. sean murray says:

    and Sophie, if it’s any comfort we share your deep, deep frustration with York Way. I do wonder, if at the heart of all this, is the fact neither Islington or Camden (or even TFL) feel any real ownership of this road due to its crazy carving up of space and responsibility. It’s so difficult to get anyone to take leadership on any of the issues this unique road faces. Paul C is being a great help but it’s Camden who hold most of the cards and, as far as I’m aware, we’ve never heard a peep from the Camden councillor responsible for York Way.

  4. maceasy says:

    Tfl holding things up, being obfuscatory and unhelpful. There’s a surprise. Given their stated priority for vehicle traffic I wouldn’t be surprised if they had another agenda. And how does that £1 million break down into about half of that amount?

  5. The York Way pavement widening (west side) which was funded from the infamous £1m is proving extremely frustrating. For the best part of a year now there has been a gap between the widening work stretching down from Wharfdale Rd (the much missed former “Platform 1” entrance into the station) and the Euston/Pentonville Rd junction where TfL is currently implementing a scheme that will probably improve the pedestrian crossing environment although may not resolve other problems especially cycle safety.

    The “gap” means that a stretch of pavement roughly from the Caledonia Street junction remains very narrow and this just happens to be where the bus stops are located. Because the west side widening has indeed resulted in more footfall down that side of York Way, it creates awkward pedestrian jams at the point where the widening stops.

    I have now received a reply from Camden’s Head of highways admitting that : “the temporary situation while we waited for TfL to finalise the project at the southern end has been far from desirable.” It seems the problem is because TfL approval is required before Camden can finish the “join” between their pavement widening and the TfL junction scheme. Apparently TfL says that Camden must provide “additional information, which would require additional modelling to be undertaken”. Camden says this “request is excessive and we are not convinced the provision of this information is wholly necessary or in proportion to the nature of the changes that need to be completed.”

    Camden are being too polite. TfL has known about the totality of this scheme for around 3 years. Over that period of time, I have personally sat in meetings with senior TfL managers discussing the whole York Way scheme – the TfL junction changes, the Camden pavement widening, a proposed crossing point at the Caledonia Street junction by Premier Inn and the proposals for a major sort-out at the Wharfdale Rd junction. So, for TfL to suddenly demand extra information on the “network impacts” of this very small change to York Way is utterly baffling.

    I am told that in TfL-land these days the over-riding priority the squelches anything and everything is … to prepare for the Olympics. Well the junction scheme is part of that. Leaving out a small component in a highly sensitive bit of roadway and footpaths around one of London’s most sensitive Olympic transport hubs. Well, that’s bonkers.

    • maceasy says:

      Thanks, Paul. It looks like tfl are stalling, presumably because they think that the improvements might impede the all important traffic flow. Pedestrians and cyclists don’t seem to figure in their plans, other than as a hindrance to drivers. I have no idea why tfl are even involved in such plans, they seem to have outgrown their remit of looking after the tube and bus services. You would think that the local authorities could make improvements without being beholden to another unaccountable bureaucracy full of highly paid careerists.

  6. Will LB Camden now allow TfL’s proposal to cut away part of the new King’s Cross Sq for a token length of cycle lane to trip station passenger arrivals, while leaving two northbound lanes of G I Road colliding into York Way and a messy (not-Toucan) crossing junction? I’m far from impressed with TfL ‘Citizen Space’ on the ‘Gyratory’ so far!
    https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/streets/kingscross

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