Gazette letters: Windsor Street, Highbury Station and council tax

Windsor Street, with Essex Road to the north. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

Windsor Street, with Essex Road to the north. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH - Credit: Archant

We are in full agreement with Clare Palmer in supporting projects like Windsor Street, writes Anne and Tom Tickell, Brecknock Road, Kentish Town.

Ten years ago we had no choice but to let our daughter Charlotte move to a residential care home in Kent. There was literally nothing suitable for her in Islington at that time and we were worried that as we grew older we would not be able to care for her at home. Then we were told of a new development in Highbury, which was similar to the proposed Windsor Street project. We were initially cautious because it seemed so big. But now we couldn’t be more thrilled and relieved. Charlotte has settled in brilliantly, and we revel in being only 10 minutes away from her so we can pop in and see her often – something we couldn’t do before. It has worked so much better than we ever dreamed was possible.

There is a huge need for housing projects like this, and we are glad Islington Council is taking its responsibility to the hundreds of families affected by learning disability so seriously.

I was reading an edition of the Islington Gazette and was pleasantly surprised to read Tim Sayer OBE’s letter agreeing with what I wrote about the proposed Highbury Corner roundabout development a couple of weeks or so ago, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

I totally agree with what he said: that if money is available it would be better spent on upgrading Highbury and Islington station. A good idea there would be to reopen the long-closed entrance on the opposite side of Holloway Road where the entrance to what was the Northern City line used to be before it was handed to British Rail as it was then on the Moorgate branch.

If this was done it could help people who cannot easily get down the escalators to both the Victoria line and National Rail platforms, by putting back the lifts that used to be there and taking them down to platform level – but then I suppose that this idea would be too sensible a thing to do.

Provision of lifts to platform level was made in the upgrade to Highbury and Islington station when the North London line was taken over by TfL and rebranded London Overground and look at what a success that has been: passenger numbers up no end. In fact it was planned as far as I remember to put a fifth coach on these trains this year, 2018, but passenger numbers are so high that this was done a couple of years ago.

Another thing is when the Arsenal Stadium development was passed. As far as I know it was passed on the condition that money would be made available of upgrading access at Holloway Road station on the Piccadilly line. What happened to this money? Instead of doing this, when there is a home match at Arsenal, Holloway Road station is closed for about one hour before the match starts and then again about 30 minutes before closing time so trains just go through Holloway Road station non-stop during these closure times.

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Far better, as Tim says, is to spend money on upgrading both Highbury and Islington and also Holloway Road stations. They need this work rather than closing part of the roundabout at Highbury as it seems the planners are hell-bent on doing.

Hopefully the planners will see sense and not go ahead with this idea as I can’t see it working at all with today’s traffic. It is bad enough trying to get round the roundabout when it is fully open, let alone with the lane closures that have been in place for the last few years while the bridge is rebuilt.

Presumably the length of time this has taken is due to locating and diverting services like power cable, water mains, sewers, etc, before the work done over Christmas and New Year when the main girders were replaced.

Another thing I read in a recent rail magazine is that the eastbound Gas Works Tunnel at King’s Cross station is to come back into use some 40 years or so since British Rail deemed it to be surplus to requirement as the station track layout is to be remodelled to make it easier to run the station.

The idea of a “Happy New Year”, from Islington’s supposed socialist council departed promptly when they announced a council tax rise for the many,writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

How generous and completely hypocritical as they present as “on your side”, “the many, not the few”. The reality is the many poor people cannot afford this, but the few rich can.

The result of this cancerous tax is more people reporting to the food banks, further pressure with rising bills (water, gas, electric, rent) that puts unnecessary pressure on families, rising stress levels, and decreasing quality of life. It is bad for family life, and paves the way for loan sharks – not a very nice belated Christmas gift from the home of the Fairness Commission, is it?

With the social care bill of a cool £23.75million, how much is going to the management side of that business? Every penny spent in management is a penny wasted.

Labour try to sell themselves as defending you from such injustice, claiming they are concerned about the people. If this is “concern”, thank god they are not annoyed, eh?

Happy New Year to one and all. Within Islington, if you are looking for the Independent, the Guardian or the Observer, they are known locally as the Islington Gazette.

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