New entrance to Finsbury Park station set to open
- Credit: Archant
Transport bosses have confirmed the new entrance to Finsbury Park station will open on Tuesday, ending three-and-a-half years of congestion for rush-hour commuters.
The long-awaited Goodwin Street entrance, off Fonthill Road, will replace the Wells Terrace entrance that closed in July 2016.
It is part of the £220million City North development, and means the station will have step-free access in the form of lifts to both the Victoria and Piccadilly lines and the Network Rail platforms.
Its opening means people can access the station without having to walk down Stroud Green Road to the main Station Place entrance.
Finsbury Park is the third-busiest station outside central London, with over 30 million customers using the station in 2018.
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After the Wells Terrace closure commuters had to endure regular congestion trying to get into the main entrance on weekday mornings.
London Underground's managing director Andy Lord said: "The completion of the upgrade and opening of the new entrance means that journeys will be easier and quicker through the station, while the new lifts have already made Finsbury Park more accessible for the tens of thousands of customers who use the station every day."
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The new site will feature a Cineworld, Marks & Spencer and GymBox, and more than 308 new homes - though only 47 will be affordable. The rest have been marketed in China and Singapore.
Access to Wells Terrace was also meant to be ready, but not will not be available until spring next year due to a delay in the building work.
Helena Farstad, owner of Oak N4 wine bar and chair of the Stroud Green Traders' Association, said businesses in Wells Terrace and Clifton Terrace had been hit hard by the latest delay.
They had finally expected an end to a hellish period with little footfall after the station entrance missed its initial opening date of April, but were told at the start of December of another setback.
"We will have some benefit from the Goodwin Street entrance but not at all in the same way,"Helena said. "Some businesses have had to shut [since the Wells Terrace entrance closed] and others are on their last legs. We were all preparing for it to be opening.
"City North have tried to support local businesses but I think it shows there needs to be more planning ahead in terms of the impact.
"If people want to have these streets consisting of independent businesses then I would urge them to come down and support us!"
A spokesperson for City North said: "We are very pleased the Western station entrance to Finsbury Park will be opening as planned, enabling much improved access around the local area from the heart of the City North development.
"Initially access will be via Goodwin Street with access via Wells Terrace opening in spring. This regrettable delay is due to overrunning crane lifting works to the new buildings either side of the Wells Terrace access.
"We apologise unreservedly for this delay in opening the Wells Terrace, however the safety of the public is of paramount importance to us and we will not compromise on it."