Finsbury Park station: New Wells Terrace entrance finally set to open
- Credit: Archant
The new entrance to Finsbury Park station is set to open at long last – three-and-a-half years after the closure of Wells Terrace.
TfL and Telford Homes, the developer behind the luxury City North project, say they hope to open the new step-free Goodwin Street and Wells Terrace entrance on December 17.
The old Wells Terrace entrance closed with a week's notice in July 2016 ahead of work starting on the £220million scheme.
It has created 355 homes, 47 of which will "affordable" by the former mayor Boris Johnson's definition - 80 per cent of market rate - as well as a Cineworld, Gymbox, Mark's & Spencer and other shops.
The opening of the new entrance, pushed back from April, will be music to the ears of everyone who uses the station at rush hour.
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Since the Wells Terrace closure, anyone living on the other side of the station to the main entrance has had to walk under the Stroud Green Road bridge or down Fonthill Road to access the Tube.
It has been roundly blamed for the huge queues endured by commuters at the sole entrance in Station Place.
FOI figures revealed by the Gazette in 2017 showed in the first six months after the Wells Terrace closure, the station closed or partially closed 83 times.
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TfL insisted that was nothing to do with the problems, but does say the new entrance will ease congestion.
The closure of Wells Terrace and increased footfall under the bridge also led to the arrival of beggars and rough sleepers setting up shelters resembling bedrooms.
And it also forced businesses in Wells Terrace and Clifton Terrace to close due to the loss of custom.
Hussein Jaber, who runs the Jeremy Corbyn-decorated Gadz coffee bar, told the Gazette in 2016 he did not know how he would survive with the loss of footfall - but managed to.
"It's good news," the cafe said of the new entrance opening. "It was pretty bad because people would get off the bus and rush to the station. Before they used to get off the bus and grab a coffee."
Last week a "topping out" ceremony was held to mark the structure of the two "awe-inspiring towers" being finished.
Flats are going for up to £850,000 and have been marketed to overseas investors in Hong Kong and other financial hubs. Buyers who are planning to live there will be able to move in from December.
Telford Homes and its joint business partner, Upper Street's Business Design Centre, have been slammed by councillors in Finsbury Park for the lack of affordable homes.
Telford CEO Jon Di Stefano said: "The development will be a landmark for Finsbury Park and benefits from both fantastic design and location, which we all believe will be integral to its success.
"Finsbury Park is one of London's most impressive locations, situated just 10 minutes from Oxford Circus and surrounded by the famous park alongside a thriving cosmopolitan community."
Any homeowners who don't fancy enjoying the famous park will fortunately be able to relax in the private roof garden.
City North defends the development, saying it will "deliver much needed new homes to buy or rent for people who want to live and work in London".
"The homes are part of a wider array of new amenities such as substantial new public realm, commercial space and a new step-free entrance to Finsbury Park station," a spokesperson said. "All of these will benefit local residents and generate numerous new job opportunities."