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Weekend Northern line closures on hold

PUBLISHED: 11:29 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 07 September 2010

WEEKEND Northern line closures have been postponed until 2011, it has been revealed. Traders and residents are over the moon that their concerns have been listened to. Originally, contractor Tube Lines had planned to close the line for 82 w

Susanna Wilkey

WEEKEND Northern line closures have been postponed until 2011, it has been revealed.

Traders and residents are over the moon that their concerns have been listened to.

Originally, contractor Tube Lines had planned to close the line for 82 weekends during the next 16 months for upgrade work.

Discussions are still ongoing between Tube Lines and Transport for London.

But it is now expected that, in stations north of Kennington, engineering work will start in July and will only be in the evening rather than at weekends. The line will close at 10pm.

Helen Sherman, owner of Hampstead's Rosslyn Deli, said: "This is a huge relief.

"It sounds very promising. Everything has been very hard lately and I am so glad they have listened to us and done this."

Avril Castellazzo, of Walter Castellazzo Design, in Highgate High Street, added: "This is great news and it is really working with local businesses. It certainly helps us enormously and makes much more sense considering the hard times that traders have had to struggle through.

"Whenever they do the work in 2011, it must be at times when it is the least inconvenient to travellers, residents and businesses.

"Things are getting better and it is nice that people are thinking in a more supportive manner. This really does help enormously and takes off the pressure."

For the line south of Kennington, Tube Lines has so far agreed 20 weekend part closures this year. There will be one full line closure from December 25 to 28.

Conservative Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate Chris Philp has been lobbying TfL and Tube Lines on behalf of traders and residents.

He said: "It is great news that Tube Lines and TfL appear to have listened and responded to our campaign and that the residents of NW3 won't find themselves stranded.

"It is also great news for traders and local high streets, which depend on people visiting the area at the weekend.

"Lots of people come to shop in Hampstead from other parts of London. This would have really crippled Hampstead had it gone ahead this year."

Chris Underhill, chairman of Highgate Traders, added: "It is good that is has been deferred. But we have to accept that it is going to happen sooner or later.

"But what annoys me is that I have recently come back from Paris where they have managed to upgrade the whole metro system without a single closure.

"Why can't we do that in London? Closures always create chaos on the roads and huge disruption, which is very frustrating."

A Tube Lines spokesman said it had so far agreed 20 part line closures south of Kennington with London Underground and some form of extended engineering hours, expected to start in July.

He said: "We are working with LU for a closure programme for 2011 at the moment with the least disruption possible.


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