Cancelled connection

Locals petition TfL over cancelled link bridge in Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale Station
Credit: Stephen Furner

By Luchia Robinson

A petition calling for the installation of a link footbridge from Tottenham Hale Station into Hale Village has received lots of support from local residents.

The petition, which received over 800 of the necessary 1000 signatories (at the time of going to print), was started by local resident, Andrew Johnston, who, concerned about the lack of connectivity for residents and local businesses, is angry that the promise to build the bridge, has been reneged upon by TfL.

The original 2013 planning proposal (which was approved in 2014) included works to create a new station entrance, an enlarged station concourse, an Access for All (AFA) bridge, and a Hale Village link bridge connection, which would have re-used and extended the old station footbridge.

The station expansion plan was then upgraded in 2016 to address changes to Network Rail’s part of the project delivery, allowing for improvements to further accommodate the expected flow of commuters.

Last year, however, it was decided by TfL that the link bridge was no longer going ahead because the proposed changes to the development would cost significantly more than originally envisaged. TfL now claims the link bridge falls outside of the scope of the London Underground station scheme, meaning it is considered a separate project, in need of alternative funding.

The ‘Get the Tottenham Hale Link Bridge built now’ petition, which is addressed to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, reads: ‘A short term plan to widen the current footpath over Ferry Lane is still fundamentally unsafe, does not meet the planning consent and is simply a cost saving solution which will mean that the improvements to Tottenham Hale station do not benefit local Tottenham people at all, but simply assist commuters using the station as an interchange. This is not good enough.’

Reasons for residents signing the petition include, avoiding congestion and overcrowding because of a growing population, the prioritising of local residents in any development works, and increased accessibility in and out of the station.

Andrew, who is the centre manager at The Engine Room in Tottenham Hale, said: “The lack of the promised link bridge to the east of Tottenham Hale station is a huge betrayal of the promises made to local residents and developers and is a major blow for those wishing to walk or cycle from Haringey to Waltham Forest or vice versa. The response of over 800 signatures on our petition demonstrates the depth of local feeling about this issue.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan was asked about the TfL change of plan when he came to Haringey in January for People’s Question Time. He said: “In relation to Tottenham Hale, we are discussing with Network Rail what we can do in relation to the link bridge you refer to.

“We will carry on talking to Network Rail because the link bridge could make a real difference, and I want it to happen – and so we’ll carry on talking to them, and see if they can support us in getting improvements that we so desperately need.”

Lorna Reith, Chair of the Ferry Lane Action Group (FLAG), which represents over 2000 residents on the Ferry Lane estate in Tottenham Hale, says: “FLAG pushed for and welcomed the inclusion of the bridge in the original planning permission and we very much want it to go ahead.

“The current pedestrian route to the station along Ferry Lane is severely overcrowded, especially at peak times. The bridge would alleviate this and provide a safe route for residents from parts of our estate, across the traffic light controlled crossing and through Hale Village, away from the traffic.

“The same would be true for residents from Bream Close and Hale Wharf (when occupied) as well as from the boats. This would of course bring more footfall into Hale Village which would help shops and cafés there.

Lorna added: “We believe that the costings put forward for the bridge are unnecessarily high and money could be found to extend the bridge, as originally promised.

“Local residents have had to put up with years of disrupted transport links while works to the station are undertaken. Very little is of benefit to people living in Tottenham Hale – mostly it seems it is about getting people off the trains from Cambridge, Hertford and Stansted and through into the Victoria Line.”

In response, a TfL spokesperson said: “Discussions are ongoing with Network Rail and Haringey Council on the best way to provide a link bridge to the Village as part of the redevelopment of the Tottenham Hale station area.

“We have offered to contribute towards the cost of the revised scheme that has been developed. However, there is still a shortfall that would need other sources of funds to deliver this improvement for the local community.”

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