Opponents of the Northern Line Extension, and why they’re right

At the start of this year, January 28, there was already opposition against the extension of the Northern Line. Liberal Democrats in Lambeth have suggested a Docklands-style light rail or monorail link between Waterloo, Vauxhall and Battersea as an alternative. Local campaigners also question the transport benefits of adding an extra branch to an already complicated and overcrowded rail route like the Northern line.

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“The only way to relieve the existing crush let alone cope with the massive influx of fresh commuters being generated by the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea new town is by a completely separate system,” say the Lambeth Liberal Democrats in an unsigned comment piece published on the party website.”

”We’ve suggested it before and we’ll say it again, there needs to be a thorough appraisal of a light rail elevated transport system like the Docklands Light Railway.”

”Common sense suggests that this would be massively cheaper than a deep-bored tube line and it could even be a 21st-century monorail system rather than the slightly Trumpton-esque DLR.”

”It could also run all the way to Waterloo – maybe attached to the existing railway viaduct – and later linked to the DLR. After all there’s massive regeneration going on south of the river all the way from Wandsworth to Southwark.”

See the full article.

More recently, the Guardian reported about the concerns of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home:

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is demanding Transport for London (TfL) reconsiders plans for the Northern line extension over fears it will force its animals to be relocated.

The rescue home, in Battersea Park Road, Battersea, is within touching distance of a new station planned to open at Battersea Power Station.

Chiefs at the charity have said the welfare of the animals could be affected during construction, while the extension would mean the rescue home could not expand in the future.

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The Evening Standard reports that the rescue home has joined the Beefeater Gin distillery in nearby Kennington, to write to the Transport Secretary opposing being made to sell large swaths of property. It would have to vacate 70 per cent of its site on a 14-day notice, it says, under legislation proposed by TfL.

In the letter to Patrick McLoughlin, seen by property website CoStar News, home chief executive Claire Horton calls TfL’s sweeping powers “excessive”, adding that the transport body “has insufficient understanding of the complexity and sophistication of the facilities at our building”.

Chivas Brothers, operators from the Beefeater distillery, has also written objecting to TfL’s plans to compulsorily purchase land for a ventilation shaft. The company says dangers posed by the construction would prevent it operating on the site.

Enough reasons to reconsider the Northen Line Extension, so it seems.

Michèle Dix, managing director of planning for TfL, said: “We are working through a Transport and Works Act Order process and are not expecting a decision on the Northern line extension from the Government until summer 2014.

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See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.
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Pink Floyd fans witness redevelopment failure of the Battersea Power Station 35 years later

A pig is flying over the Battersea Power Station, London again, 35 years after it flew there for the first time in 1977. On both occasions Pink Floyd released the albums with the floating pig shot on the covers, and even though the musicians did not attend the events in person, they once again brought desirable publicity to the derelict station.

The two covers, Animals in the past and Why Pink Floyd…? today,  can be easily confused, as this landmark site looks exactly the same as 35 years ago. This is in spite of the owners constant promises to renovate the station and “create an entirely new district for London“. The current development proposal aims to create the first zero carbon office space in Central London, “a stunning event space”, the river walk section, a green energy plant and a conference centre etc.

However, so far the inflatable pig is probably the only “cultural” mark at the station site, despite the cultural rejuvenation plans proudly announced on the Battersea Power Station Website . The power station has been unused since its closure in 1982, and is gradually falling to the ruin. In consequence, English Heritage described the conditions at the place as “very bad”, and included it on the Buildings at Risk Register.

The current owners,  Treasury Holdings, struggle to make the ends meet due to the Irish banking crisis. This might force the company to sell the station to another private developer willing to face those financial challenges, which the previous three owners failed to cope with. Further information can be found on the Spectacle’s Blog.

Perhaps real pigs will start flying sooner than the actual redevelopment will finally begin.

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Battersea Power Station history from the 30s to 1983

The Vauxhall Society reprints an extract from  ‘Battersea Power Station – 50 Years of Service – A Short History’ first published by CEGB Public Relations Branch in 1983.

The Vauxhall Society is the civic consultative group covering the London parliamentary constituency of Vauxhall, which extends from north of Waterloo to Brixton, Clapham, and Stockwell and Vauxhall, as well as the neighbouring districts of Southwark and Wandsworth.

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For more history of the power station click here
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