The East London Line may at present be a relatively small stretch of track, but for residents of New Cross Gate it’s becoming a pretty big problem. Closed for extension work until 2010, the line, which previously ran from Whitechapel to New Cross Gate, is reportedly causing interior damage to houses in the latter area.
Kirsten Downer, a resident who lives near to the tracks, says there are “cracks in the walls” of her house and that she can’t open her kitchen window “because of dust, diesel fumes and noise”. Local man Mark Tyler has suffered similar problems, saying that cracks in his walls first appeared “soon after construction (of the tracks) began”.
Other residents of New Cross have insisted that their voices are largely being ignored, despite public meetings on the matter. Indeed, it is alleged that TFL and building contractors only alerted residents of the extension work after construction had actually begun. TFL, however, deny this and have offered residents £500 per damaged room. That works out at roughly £3000 for the collapse of an entire house. Now there’s a raw deal.
By Laurence Brown