Power to the people after Caledonian Road Station closure is withdrawn
PUBLISHED: 09:21 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:32 19 January 2016
Transport for London (TfL) this morning backtracked on plans to shut Caledonian Road Underground Station for eight months.
It comes after huge opposition to the transport authority’s proposal to close it for lift repairs from March.
A petition, launched in October, when the plans were first announced, has reached 7,500 signatures.
And earlier this month, Islington Council launched legal action against TfL, citing impact on disabled people and claiming the station’s two 30-year-old lifts could be repaired one at a time - allowing it to stay open.
TfL withdrew its March closure plans after saying it would be a waste of public money to fight the council’s legal action. It will now work with the council to find a solution.
Nigel Scott, 65, is the man who set up the popular petition. He works for the Shingles Support Society in North Road, near to the Piccadilly line station, and said this morning: “This is fantastic news. What we have always said is that this station is too important to close - both socially and economically. TfL never factored that in.
“The public showed its feeling against this. Islington Council also went for it, and that combination has been too much for TfL. It’s clear they hadn’t thought it through properly, and hadn’t anticipated this level of opposition. I hope they can now work it out.”
Gareth Powell, director of strategy for London Underground, said: “In light of points raised by Islington Council, we’re reconsidering how we can refurbish lifts at Caledonian Road safely and with as little disruption as possible for local people.
“Two public bodies being involved in litigation on this issue would be a waste of public money, which we obviously want to avoid.
“We’re all in agreement that the lifts need to be refurbished and that when this happens everyone will benefit from a new, more reliable service. We’ll be discussing our plans with Islington to find the best solution.”
Islington had accepted TfL’s request to stop the legal action after it offered to pay the council’s legal costs so far.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said: “It’s clear that both TfL and the council would much prefer to resolve this dispute amicably, if possible, and we hope that TfL will deliver the improvements the station needs by replacing the lifts one after the other and keeping the station open.”