After nine-month closure, repaired Tufnell Park tube lift ‘a crumbly box of doom’
Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock was among those who signed a petition opposing the station closure
28 November, 2016 — By Joe Cooper
Plans to close the tube station for nine months sparked strong opposition before the work went ahead
TRANSPORT chiefs have come under fire over “rubbish” lift repairs at Tufnell Park tube station after new figures show they have been out of action twice a week.
The decision to close the station for nine months caused uproar among commuters, but Transport for London said work on the two 40-year-old lifts was needed because they failed “once a week on average”.
It promised that everyone would benefit from “new, more reliable lifts”.
But TfL figures show that lifts were out of action for 25 hours from April to June, just weeks after the station reopened in March.
TfL acknowledges that there have been teething problem with the new lifts.
Journalist and Tufnell Park resident Charlotte Gill said: “The tube situation has been a complete nightmare.
“After nine months TfL created a rubbish lift, that looks and feels exactly the same as the last.
“Now the thing isn’t even working, and I fear for the people of Tufnell Park and their chilly toes as they desperately hunt for the next nearest tube stations.”
She added: “Doesn’t anyone care about our transport needs? Why didn’t they give us a shiny escalator in the first place, rather than this crumbly box of doom?”
A TfL spokesman said: “We apologise for the disruption to customers for the lift failures, which were caused by technical problems.
“We fixed the lifts as quickly as possible and in the long term the new lifts will make journeys quicker, easier and more comfortable for customers.”
St George’s ward councillor Nick Ward said: “It’s been really frustrating that the station has been forced to close on a number of occasions since it reopened.
“The disruption the complete closure caused had a big impact on local businesses and was a major inconvenience for residents.
“It sticks in the throat a little that, despite the major works TfL completed at the station, we are still facing unplanned closures when the lifts break down. TfL need to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible.”
Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, who lives in Tufnell Park, was among those who signed a petition opposing the nine-month closure when it was announced early last year.