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Anger at plans to close footbridge

PUBLISHED: 13:22 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 07 September 2010

THE latest West Hampstead interchange row descended into farce this week due to misinformation. Residents and campaigners were furious to read in a council planning report that Network Rail intends to close the West Hampstead Thameslink footbridge once th

THE latest West Hampstead interchange row descended into farce this week due to misinformation.

Residents and campaigners were furious to read in a council planning report that Network Rail intends to close the West Hampstead Thameslink footbridge once the new one is complete.

This would funnel all passengers out onto Iverson Road which they say will be dangerous and backtracks on what Network Rail previously planned.

Residents were even more incensed to have found this out only days before tonight's council decision on the planning application for the new bridge.

But Network Rail said this was not the plan. It claims the mistake must have occurred due to an administrative error and the misinformation has arisen from an old document.

Virginia Berridge, chairwoman of West Hampstead Amenity and Transport, said: "It is mystifying and it makes us a little bit suspicious because if people had not noticed this would have just gone through.

"They ought to be careful how they talk because we have had this before with the sale of the land - it does seem to keep happening.

"We feel confused and suspicious and we will just have to wait and see what happens."

Diana Frost, secretary of the West Hampstead local consultation group, said: "This is ridiculous. We just want it to be honest and open, that is all we have ever asked for. We do not want to find that they give their word and then do other things."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We have no plans to restr-ict access to the existing footbri-dge at West Hampstead Tham-eslink station once the new, ac-cessible footbridge is complete.

"Doing so would completely contradict the reasons for building it in the first place, which is to help spread the load of additional passengers using the lon-ger platforms and additional trains made possible by the £3.5billion Thameslink programme upgrade.


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