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King's Cross campaign blow

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 22 July 2010

THE Government has slammed the door on campaigners battling to stop Islington residents being shut out from ongoing redevelopment of King's Cross station.

THE Government has slammed the door on campaigners battling to stop Islington residents being shut out from ongoing redevelopment of King's Cross station.

Transport minister Rosie Winterton has sidestepped calls to save pedestrian access to the station from York Way as it undergoes a dramatic £400million facelift.

The plans will see the current entrance opposite Wharfedale Road permanently shut - leaving Islington residents cut off from the wider railway lands regeneration scheme in the neighbouring borough of Camden.

Sophie Talbot, of King's Cross Community Projects, said: "The effect of Network Rail's closure of the Wharfdale Road entrance with no replacement bridge will cut us off and further alienate our community. A bridge would cost less than two per cent of Network Rail's redevelopment budget for King's Cross. We are not asking for something unattainable."

Michael Edwards, of King's Cross Railway Lands Group, added: "Network Rail is a public body which should know better. They are disregarding their own self-interest as well as imposing huge costs on the locality."

But speaking in Parliament last week Ms Winterton insisted that a feasibility study had "concluded that from an operational safety perspective the access to York Way in this location could not be maintained".

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "The feasibility study reviewed over 30 different options. The three most realistic options were then assessed in greater detail against a range of criteria including safety concerns, passenger flow, heritage, gating and operational costs.

"A copy of this study is currently with Camden Borough Council for comment and it is our understanding that they have commissioned an independent organisation to assess whether we have discharged our section 106 planning obligation.

"We are confident this study will prove comprehensive and look forward to help shaping the future of York Way, with an investment of £1m to improve the local environment.


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