Search

Guide Dogs for Blind to be kicked out by HS2

PUBLISHED: 10:17 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 30 March 2017

Laura Skinner and Nan.   Picture: Tony Gay

Laura Skinner and Nan. Picture: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

The training centre for guide dogs will be forced to move so HS2 can expand Euston station.

Laura Skinner, guide dog Nan, Zoe AirdLaura Skinner, guide dog Nan, Zoe Aird

The Guide Dogs for the Blind centre in Melton Street is “in the footprint” of the high-speed rail development and will be taken from the charity most likely this year, the Ham&High has learned.

The centre, based at Walkden House, is the only place in London where the animals – which help blind and partially sighted people navigate the streets – are taught essential skills like pushing buttons at pedestrian crossings and riding on escalators.

In a previous interview with the Ham&High, team manager Mike Woolston said the location was “perfect” because there is so much noise, traffic and commotion to help the dogs get accustomed to life in the capital. He said: “They can’t go out in the leafy suburbs because that’s not where they are going to be working.” Now the charity is searching for another spot that replicates those conditions.

Mr Woolston said: “As you can imagine, it’s quite a challenge to find the right balance of somewhere that provides the busy training environment our guide dogs need, still gives us good service reach across the capital, is accessible, and likely to attract the volunteers so essential to our work.”

He added that the new centre must be also accessible to boarders – volunteers who take the animals home when they aren’t on their 9am-5pm training shifts.

Because no compulsory purchase order has yet been submitted, and because discussions are ongoing with HS2, Mr Woolston could not comment further – but did say there is a plan to hold a drop-in session for those who have concerns about the future.

A spokesman for HS2, meanwhile, said the railway network has already spoken with the guide dogs charity and promised to give “as much as possible” before the building is taken. He added that HS2 has offered to provide “information and guidance” on finding “alternative local premises”.

He went on: “The arrival of HS2 will transform Euston station – providing much-needed extra capacity for passengers as well as providing the opportunity for new homes, offices and retail space.

“We recognise that construction will take time and cause inevitable disruption for the community and local businesses. That’s why we’ve been engaging with the community since the plans were first published.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 19:30

Six year old Camden schoolgirl Lily Conlan has been shortlisted for a prestigious campaigning award for her work to promote deaf awareness.

Yesterday, 15:33

Users of St John’s Wood Post Office have raised concerns about the proposed branch move to Charlbert Street.

Yesterday, 13:53

It’s unlikely anyone testing the water at Hampstead Heath’s many ponds expected their checks for bugs like E.coli would ever become part of a performance art project.

Yesterday, 11:43

Paddington Academy students are celebrating achieving the best A-level results in the school’s 11-year history.

Yesterday, 10:56

Hornsey Sixth Form College A-level results were ‘significantly above national average’, according to the headteacher of the Crouch End school.

Yesterday, 10:28

The principal of Westminster Kingsway College has champions the achievements of students in their A-level results.

Yesterday, 09:58

UCL Academy students who received their A-level results yesterday are ‘equipped to be global citizens’, according to the school’s co-principal.

Yesterday, 09:38

A-level results day at Greig City Academy revealed an array of talent, with Oxbridge bound students in a variety of disciplines.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now