CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

TfL and the council are passing the buck on rebuilding Camden Town station

14 August, 2020

The plans for a new Camden Town tube station could be mothballed

• WHEN did the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak begin?

It seems at least two years ago if you ask the Mayor of London or Camden’s Labour councillors, who laughably attempted to spin their claim last week that the cancellation of the Camden Town station upgrade was due to it, (Will Camden Town ever get its new tube station now? August 6).

The upgrade was shelved in the Transport for London Business Plan that Sadiq Khan published in December 2018. So to blame it on coronavirus seems divorced from reality.

In that 2018 business plan, Sadiq Khan admitted that the reason the plans were being cancelled was due to TfL’s operating deficit.

That day-to-day deficit was already not going to be closed until 2023 after ballooning on the mayor’s watch back then – and now won’t be closed until 2026 after further mismanagement by Sadiq Khan.

In the CNJ’s August 6 coverage, the mayor himself admitted the development was unfunded before the Covid-19 outbreak.

Because TfL withdrew its funding from the upgrade, it has looked for development partners to pay for it in full. The fact is the cancellation has happened because Sadiq Khan and Camden Council have failed to put together a proposal that would do that.

Regular CNJ readers will not be surprised by this, to consistently fail to secure the full benefits of selling off prime London real estate is a remarkable “achievement” by the council.

Camden Town station is an overcrowded mess in desperate need of rebuilding. Not only that, but the Camden Town crunch puts pressure on the rest of the Northern line, delaying services all the way up and down both branches.

Sadiq Khan’s further cancellation – in 2017, over two years pre-Covid-19 – of the much-needed upgrade of the Northern line itself compounds this disaster for north London.

TfL and Camden need to make the rebuilding of Camden Town a priority. By blaming Covid-19 when the upgrade was cancelled almost two years ago, TfL and Camden, who were meant to solve the problem, have just passed the buck.

When can their spinning stop and the planning begin?

ROBERTO WEEDEN-SANZ
Conservative, London Assembly candidate for Barnet & Camden

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