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Finsbury Park station: Overcrowded commuters face another two weeks of havoc

PUBLISHED: 12:48 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:48 30 November 2016

'I have never seen a crowd this big at the station': Finsbury Park this morning. Picture: Sarah Pyper

'I have never seen a crowd this big at the station': Finsbury Park this morning. Picture: Sarah Pyper

Archant

Furious commuters at Finsbury Park station have been warned their misery could last another fortnight.

Piccadilly line delays – partly caused by wet leaves – led to the “biggest ever crowd” crammed outside the station this morning.

It comes after 29 of the line’s 79 trains have been removed for repairs after their brakes were damaged by wet leaves and moisture in the Tube tunnels.

Transport for London (TfL) said it can only repair two trains a day, meaning it could be two weeks before the full stock is available.

Finsbury Park station already suffers regular overcrowding due to the recent closure of its Wells Terrace entrance, while TfL warned last month the station was struggling to cope with Victoria line usage – which has increased since the closure of the Overground through Walthamstow in June.

Sarah Pyper, of Crouch End, took an extra 40 minutes to get to work in Russell Square this morning. She told the Gazette: “I’ve grown used to Finsbury Park station being busy in the past couple of months, but when I arrived I’ve never seen a crowd that big. There were hundreds.

“People are just fed up that this keeps happening. It’s a terrible start to the day. For many, Finsbury Park is a key transport link and they have no other options.”

A station staff member was today heard saying: “We’re sorry about all these terrible delays this morning – please do write to TfL and complain.”

And Ms Pyper, of Crouch End, added: “I just think TfL has been useless. At the moment, we are paying a lot of money basically to be treated like cattle.”

A TfL spokesman told the Gazette: “We have engineers working 24 hours a day. People have even cancelled their annual leave so they can come in and help. But it’s going to take some time.

“Wet leaves on the line is part of the reason, combined with moisture in the air due to the cold weather last week. When the train brakes, the wheel slides against the metal and when there is moisture, this causes damage by reducing adhesion between the rail and the wheels.”

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