Drayton Park could open to stop station overcrowding on Arsenal matchdays after Sadiq Khan steps in

PUBLISHED: 14:54 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:54 04 July 2017

The northbound Victoria line platform 45 minutes before Arsenal played Bayern Munich in March. Picture: Isabelle Fraser

The northbound Victoria line platform 45 minutes before Arsenal played Bayern Munich in March. Picture: Isabelle Fraser


Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of being at Highbury and Islington station when Arsenal are playing at home knows about the dangerous levels of overcrowding.

Overcrowding at Highbury and Islington station before an Arsenal game. Picture: Sam GelderOvercrowding at Highbury and Islington station before an Arsenal game. Picture: Sam Gelder

But it could become a thing of the past after new measures were proposed by Highbury East’s Cllr Caroline Russell, who quizzed Sadiq Khan about the problems in her role as a Green Party London Assembly member.

She asked the mayor if he had considered asking Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to look at opening Drayton Park station, which is 320 metres from The Emirates but is closed on matchdays.

Cllr Russell suggested the Northern City Line station could take some of the strain off Highbury and Islington if it had widened platforms and a good service, and Mr Khan has agreed to ask TfL to raise the issue with the operator.

“People contact me all the time about it and at ward partnership meetings you can usually guarantee someone is going to be in touch about overcrowding,” said Cllr Russell.

“Highbury and Islington is an incredibly busy station with the Overground now coming in. When you combine it with a matchday and rush hour it’s very busy. When you are down there it’s frightening and feels out of control.

“It is my local station and I have literally been in the front carriage of a Tube and the station is so full you can’t get off. You really have to push and force your way out.

“Holloway Road is closed on matchdays and there is just not enough thought being put into how people access and leave this massive stadium.

“There’s a need for better transport links and using Drayton Park they could take some of the strain if they widened the platforms and put on frequent trains.

“The mayor’s response is an excellent start. The important thing now is Thameslink apply some imagination to the situation.”

Sadiq Khan said in his reponse: “Service provision at Drayton Park station is an issue for the train operator GTR and the Department for Transport; any changes to infrastructure would be the responsibility of Network Rail.”

A spokesman for Arsenal told the Gazette the club could not comment on the situation at this early stage.

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 16:28

A cyclist is critically injured after she was hit by a car in Clerkenwell this morning.

Yesterday, 15:22

Islington’s revamped Milner Square Gardens has been celebrated by the community following its £235,000 revamp.

A murder investigation has been launched after a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death in Tufnell Park last night.

Tue, 18:35

An Islington teen reached the finals of the London Fashion Week in Covent Garden on Monday.

Tue, 18:21

Verity Painter is the first woman to become a licensed UK boxing MC. When she isn’t doing that she’s voicing adverts or reading the Gazette to the blind. The ‘Queen of Queensberry’ spoke to Lucas Cumiskey.

Tue, 15:28

A trailblazing scheme from Islington Council will give small independent businesses the chance to rent top quality workspaces at genuinely affordable prices.

Tue, 13:50

Two rogue landlords have been prosecuted for dangerous and sub-standard conditions after Islington Council found 35 people living in a two bedroom flat in Grosvenor Avenue.

Mon, 19:26

Emily Thornberry today branded Universal Credit a “complicated and intimidating system” while speaking at a community conference in Holloway Road.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now