Tufnell Park tube station repairs prompt closure concerns for businesses

Businesses around Tufnell Park underground are facing closure if, as they fear, the station shuts for seven months from the beginning of next year for lift repairs.

Pushkin Cambridge, 46, has been running a flower kiosk outside Tufnell Park underground for the past four years and described the current situation as “worrying”.

“If the station does close completely,” she said,” which is now highly likely, I will have to close for that seven months and have to find another job.”

“Commuters will probably have an extra 40 minutes extra on to their journeys to get to Archway or Kentish Town,” she added, “and then join with the crowds there.”

Ms Cambridge, a resident of St. George’s ward for the past 35 years, said that “90 per cent” of her business comes from Tufnell Park station’s commuters.

She also said: “It makes me feel really cross because not only will it put the local businesses out of business and its workers out of a job for seven months, but it will also impact on the general public.

“Most other businesses will be really badly affected,” she added. “There’s a woman up the road who has a gift and clothes shop who will definitely have to close down.”

Mrs Anna Phoebe McElligot, 33, a good friend of Ms Cambridge, set up an online petition in mid-July to save Tufnell Park, which now has more than 400 signatures.

She also wrote a letter during the same month to Christopher Fowler, Transport for London’s (TfL) network design manager, where she described Tufnell Park station as “an integral part of our daily lives” and how the local businesses “depend” upon it.

“I welcome investment in the tube,” she said, “but as a private company providing a public service, I believe Tfl have a duty to inform and involve the local community in their decision-making.

“I think TfL need to look at the cost and benefits of the wider community,” she added.

A TfL spokesman said: “The lifts at Tufnell Park station are nearly 40 years old and need to be replaced.

“We are assessing the best possible way to carry out the works quickly, efficiently and with the least amount of disruption.

 “While it may not be feasible, the options do include keeping the station open with one lift in operation.

“When our plans are finalised we will of course give as much advance notice as possible to our customers and the local area.

“When the project is completed customers and staff will benefit from new, more reliable lifts.”