East London Line extension to arrive early at Highbury and Islington next month
A NEW train service connecting the heart of Islington with the East End, the City and south London will open next month – ahead of schedule.
The extension of the East London Line to Canonbury and Highbury and Islington Overground stations will be up and running in February.
Highbury resident Samantha Silvester, 33, a freelance writer of Benwell Road, said: “I was expecting that we’d be in for a long wait before the line came up as far as Highbury and Islington, so I was delighted to hear that Transport for London had actually completed works early – not what we’ve come to expect from them at all!
“Being able to take a non-stop train to so many parts of south and east London will make a huge difference to me.”
The line currently starts at Dalston Junction, in Hackney, and passes through popular nightlife destinations such as Hoxton and Shoreditch High Street, on the edge of the City, as well as Canada Water, New Cross and down to West Croydon in south London.
Islington has been connected by a new 2.1km section of track, which will carry eight trains an hour.
Laura Willoughby, a former councillor for Highbury East, who lives in Finsbury Park, said: “It’s a really exciting addition to the East London Line. I go to Shoreditch quite often, so for me it’s excellent.
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“It will connect Islington to a really vibrant, lively and creative part of London and it’s always good to see London getting ever more connected.” Councillor Paula Belford, who represents Canonbury ward, said: “It will be a really great thing for local people.”
TfL has invested �1billion in the extension and upgrade to the East London Line – the biggest transport infrastructure project in London since the opening of the Jubilee Line extension in 1999.
It has taken two-and-a-half years to complete. A TfL spokesman said: “Londoners have already wholeheartedly embraced the convenience of the new fast and frequent London Overground East London service with 70,000 people using it each day, which is more than anticipated.
“Islington residents and North Londoners based further up the Victoria Line will find it offers new options for journeys to parts of East London, including Brick Lane, the City and Docklands to West Croydon.”