The independent London newspaper

The borough need not have suffered these tube closures

11 September, 2020

‘All our tube stations need to be restored to normal service as soon as possible’

• I AM relieved that Camden’s tube stations are finally reopening, several weeks after the rest of London, with Chalk Farm reopening and Hampstead now back open at weekends.

Half of all the tube stations across London that haven’t been restored to full service serve Camden: from Chalk Farm to Chancery Lane, Hampstead to Tufnell Park, and Swiss Cottage to Goodge Street.

I have heard from residents across the borough how difficult it has been, with an even more damaging impact on businesses many of which have been pushed to the brink by these closures.

Despite this Transport for London only reopened these stations after Camden’s Conservative councillors got the minister for London to intervene and request TfL reopen them. But what was Camden Council doing?

Camden’s cabinet member admitted this week that it did not bother to ask TfL even once to reopen or restore services at four of these stations. He only made representations for the other two just two weeks ago: four days after the CNJ reported that the government had intervened.

And where was our London Assembly member, responsible for scrutinising TfL? We elect AMs to stand up for residents and put pressure on the mayor.

Yet Camden’s Labour AM did not bother to ask the mayor about this, though I note the Conservative member for Westminster on the assembly did raise it eight weeks ago.

I am pleased that Camden Conservatives and the government stepped up to get our tube stations reopened. They all need to be restored to normal service as soon as possible.

But I cannot help but feel if Camden had a council or an AM, or if London had a mayor, who listened and acted on residents’ concerns, residents and businesses would not have had to suffer those additional weeks of closures that no other borough has had to suffer.

If elected next May it would be my job as Camden’s Assembly Member to make sure our community’s voice is finally heard.

London Assembly Candidate for Barnet & Camden


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