Shutting Up Shop at Kings Cross

By M@ Last edited 186 months ago
Shutting Up Shop at Kings Cross

All change at King's Cross. We reported a few months back on the upheavals ahead, now the station of choice for Harry Potter, Boudicca and the Pet Shop Boys is entering a phase of major regeneration.

The almost characterful Handyside bridge that spans Platforms 1–8 is now closed and cocooned in scaffolding. It's being dismantled and put into storage in favour of a modern crossing.

Several shops on the main concourse have closed down—first Boots, and now Burger King and that lackluster bagel outlet. They're making room for toilets and other facilities, which in turn are being displaced by upcoming renovations along the west side. Platform 9 and 3/4 is still in situ, but it can't be long before wizards are stopping people for directions.

Meanwhile, local residents are pasting the area with leaflets of protest. The closure of the bridge and imminent demise of Platform 1 as a thoroughfare means a lengthy walk for anyone on the Islington side who wishes to get into the station or reach St Pancras. The closures come just as Kings Place opens. (The irony being that station redevelopers Network Rail have offices in the new building, and must be finding the access via Platform 1 very useful.) The campaign even has its own blog, and a petition.

As for building work, construction is well under way on the site of the new TfL ticket hall to the west. This should be complete in 2010, with the glass-domed concourse following on thereafter. The 1970s green frontage will come down after the Olympics to make way for a new public square. And round the back, clearance work continues for the major redevelopment of King's Cross Lands by Argent. According to their timeline, the first new public square will be complete in early 2011, with the first tenants (including Sainsburys and St Martin's College) moving in just under three years from now. The BBC has an excellent recent tour of part of the site.

Last Updated 08 October 2008