Tufnell Park Tube: Traders’ joy as station finally reopens

Julie Fischer in her shop Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park

Julie Fischer in her shop Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park - Credit: Archant

Residents and local traders alike have expressed their delight as Tufnell Park station reopens today following a nine-month closure.

Transport for London (TfL) closed the Northern line station on June 8 last year in order to replace both of its lifts, much to the frustration of locals.

For Pushkin Cambridge, who has run the Violet & Frederick flower stall in front of the station for four years, the reopening couldn’t come soon enough.

“I’m thrilled and over the moon because I’m back in business – just in time for Mother’s Day,” she told the Gazette.

“My flower stall had to close during the nine months because 90 per cent of my trade comes from the station. I’ve been working freelance since then but it hasn’t been easy.

“It was awful and I didn’t take the decision [to close the station] lightly,” she added. “I looked at all avenues trying to keep it open but that particular piece of road is not really used by the bus stops which are a bit scattered and people don’t really walk there.

“So there was no point staying open. Most of my customers said they would just pick something up at their supermarket rather than walk 10 minutes out of their way.”

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Kit Kitchener, manager of the Tufnell Park Tavern, said while his business was largely unaffected by the closure, he was delighted at the reopening.

“We are really keen to get back to normal again,” he said. “We’re on Tufnell park road just a couple of hundred yards away [from the station] so it will have a terrific effect on us.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate because we have really faithful customers. So we’ve been one of the lucky ones. But I think some of the neighbouring shops have been quite stretched. There have been a lot of gloomy faces.”

In celebration of the reopening the tavern will be offering a free glass of prosecco to customers between 5pm and 8pm next week, with a half-price pizza to take home.

Julie Fischer, who has run Fortress Road ice cream shop Ruby Violet for three years, was equally delighted.

“It’s had a huge effect on our business so I’m very relieved,” she told the Gazette. “At the beginning it was OK because it was still summer and people would walk from Kentish Town station to the shop. But once the weather turned cold everyone got on the bus and by the time they walked past our shop it wasn’t very enticing to get ice cream. So we’re down quite a lot compared to previous years.

“I’m hoping that now it’s reopened things will get back to normal.”

Meanwhile, Twitter was abuzz on Friday morning with commuters who were pleasantly surprised when they saw that the station had reopened.

“Tufnell Park tube station has reopened. Absolute joy,” tweeted @silly_old_sod.

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