Transport anarchy is threatening to break out in W12. TfL's plan to close Shepherd's Bush station on the Central Line in early February for escalator upgrade work has been met with a stentorian campaign by locals to keep it open.
The protesters claim that the work - to fix up the station in anticipation of the hordes of shoppers flooding to the £1.6 billion Westfield complex, scheduled to open later this year - is putting the needs of the credit-card cocking crowd before those of local residents and businesses.
We do sympathise with shopkeepers and can imagine that the loss of a convenient local tube stop is bloody annoying. And it's hardly the only piece of unfortunate transport news to hit the area in recent months. However, a quick glance at a map reveals that Goldhawk Road, White City, and Kensington Olympia - not to mention the Hammersmith & City branch of (soon to be renamed) Shepherd's Bush - are all within walking distance of the closed station. And they're also getting a new station at Wood Lane. It's hardly like the area has been shorn from the transport matrix by cackling greed-motivated developers. TfL in fact stated that they were not dictated to by the new shopping complex, asserting that the closure was the "right decision for customers and for Londoners".
We'd have more consideration for complaints about the East London Line's closure. After all, that's out of action for another two years, and while TfL has laid on an elaborate series of elaborate replacement buses, there's no cross-river service until 2010. What happens if you're a Rotherhithe resident who's been enjoying a blissful relationship with a lad or lass in Wapping? Are you supposed to abandon those romantic rumbles through Brunel's tunnel , and replace those whispered nothings with megaphone-hollered declarations of amorous intent bellowed from the banks of the Thames?
Image from loopzilla's Flickrstream