Battle won to replace 'treacherous' tunnel

PUBLISHED: 14:24 25 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:42 07 September 2010

A RISE in traffic triggered by the congestion zone extension has spurred the council to act on safety fears over the Harrow Road subway

Sanchez Manning

A RISE in traffic triggered by the congestion zone extension has spurred the council to act on safety fears over the Harrow Road subway.

Commuters have long been fearful of the subway running under the Harrow Road leading to Royal Oak tube station.

But with no alternative, they have been forced to brave the dangerous passages to reach the tube.

Dana Ahmed, 18, uses the subway when she travels from her home on Edgware Road to Hammersmith College.

She said: "It can be scary walking through the passageways because you never know who will be at the other end.

"They are also quite secluded and enclosed - so if something happened you feel like no-one would hear."

Residents have now won their hard-fought campaign to spur on Westminster Council to make it safer to access tube station.

The council has given the go- ahead for a street-level crossing, which will be part of the traffic light system and replace the subways.

Building work has already started at the junction of Harrow Road with Lord Hills Bridge and is expected to be completed by April.

London Assembly member Murad Qureshi, who led the successful lobby, said: "I am glad to see that progress has been made on this issue. The subway is one of the most horrendous in North Westminster. The new crossing will make Royal Oak tube station much more accessible to residents."

The funding for the project has come from Transport for London which gave £675,000 to the council at the end of last year.

Cllr Danny Chalkley said: "The decision was taken to carry out this work after strong demand from local residents.

"The western extension to the congestion zone in 2007 was expected to cause an increase in traffic to the area. We therefore welcome Transport for London's funding for the project, which will provide better pedestrian access to the tube station."

The improvements are part of the council's wider Civic Streets scheme which aims to regenerate Harrow Road.

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