Anger over plans to close Finsbury Park station entrance for more than two years
PUBLISHED: 17:57 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:57 13 February 2015
Fears of travel chaos and overcrowding when Wells Terrace gates shut next month
A plan to close part of a busy tube station for more than two years has sparked outrage among residents.
From next month, the Wells Terrace entrance to Finsbury Park Station will shut forever, before being replaced by a new western gate in October 2017 as part of an overhaul of the transport hub.
An estimated 27 million passengers use the station every year, and many people are concerned about overcrowding, as well as the inconvenience.
Donna Ferguson, 33, who lives off Stroud Green Road, said: “It was a complete shock to find out that the Wells Terrace exit is going to be closed for two and a half years next month.
“Finsbury Park is already a really busy station and closing the main entrance and exit people use to go to Stroud Green, Crouch End and Muswell Hill is going to lead to overcrowding and delays for local residents.
“I think it’s outrageous that Transport for London (TfL) is not doing more to reduce the disruption by ensuring that some kind of entrance and exit remains open on Wells Terrace.
“I reckon it’s going to be chaos.”
Other people have taken to Twitter or community websites to vent their frustrations.
Posting on the Stroud Green forum, Liz G said: “Eek, that sounds like it’s going to be a nightmare”
Duffer added: “Second that re: nightmare. At least if you use Arsenal there’s that weird cage thing for noncombatants on match days.”
Arkady said: “Why can’t they run a tunnel in hoardings out to Wells Terrace while they finish the project?”
Some residents have expressed concern for how a fruit and vegetable seller, known for his “taste the mango” call, will ply his trade following the closure.
One, @OssieSaysStuff, Tweeted: “I’m more worried about what “Taste the Mango” costermonger bloke will do when Wells Terrace entrance closes.”
During the Christmas period Finsbury Park station had to be closed due to overcrowding after being overwhelmed by passengers thanks to engineering work at King’s Cross.
A forum user named Quince posted: “Potential for some serious overcrowding at the Station Place entrance, I imagine, when the trains aren’t running properly (most likely the Piccadilly, which really needs to be sorted out) and it all backs up from platform level with bus after bus arriving.”
North Nineteen added: “Can you imagine the carnage during Wireless and Arsenal games?”
Miss Annie said: “I’ve asked the staff at the tube about it. They are less than enthusiastic. Their prediction is that the station will be closed much more regularly because of overcrowding.”
The station refurbishment is part of the £220million City North development, which will bring 355 new homes, a cinema, a supermarket, a health and fitness club and other shops, restaurants and cafes to two 21-storey towers.
David Hughes, from London Underground, said: “We are in discussions with third party developers, Network Rail, and the London Borough of Islington about plans to introduce a new western station entrance and step-free access via lifts from street to platform level. When the upgrade is completed the Finsbury Park Tube station will be step-free, passengers will have more space and journeys through the station will be quicker and more pleasant.”
A spokesman added that buses would continue tio run from the Wells Terrace as normal during the work.
Details of TfL’s plans for the station can be seen here.