Northern Line works will hit business hard, says council chief
Like many of your readers, Camden Council has serious concerns about the Northern Line proposed closure programme, and I have voiced these concerns in the strongest terms to London Underground and Tube lines. Whilst we agree that the line is in dire need
Like many of your readers, Camden Council has serious concerns about the Northern Line proposed closure programme, and I have voiced these concerns in the strongest terms to London Underground and Tube lines.
Whilst we agree that the line is in dire need of an upgrade, the proposed 65 weekend closures and 16 months of early evening weekday closures seem extremely long and poorly timed, and it is likely to impact not only on residents, but also businesses and visitors to the borough. For our business community, which is already struggling with the consequences of the recession, this feels like the last straw.
We know from our experience in West Hampstead, Swiss Cottage and Kilburn with the closures of the Jubilee Line that line closures can reduce footfall and takings at local businesses, and we are now hearing concerns from all over the borough about the new closure plans. With closures planned during evenings and weekends (including key dates such as Easter and Christmas as well as a bank holiday weekend) it is likely town centres served by the Northern Line - particularly Camden Town and those with specialist shopping such as Hampstead and Primrose Hill - will be hit during their most important periods.
As leader of the council, I chair Camden's Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), which is a group that brings together the public, private and voluntary sectors to tackle the big issues facing the borough. At a meeting of the LSP last week, we decided to ask other influential organisations like London First and the Confederation of British Industry to join the council in insisting that Tube lines rethink their plans and come up with a credible programme.
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We are determined, by working together with our key partners in this way, to work towards an acceptable solution for all concerned.
CLLR Keith Moffitt
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Leader, Camden Council