Our local trains serve thousands of residents every day – including me! It’s great when they run smoothly, but all too often our current trains into Moorgate are overcrowded, delayed or even cancelled.
Last year, the Haringey Lib Dems and I welcomed the coalition government’s announcement of a massive £6billion investment in rail services in and around London – which will mean new, longer trains and more services at peak times.
It’s part of the largest investment since Victorian times – which is great news.
But, at stations like Hornsey and Harringay, platforms are too short for longer trains to stop. We became worried that these stations could end up receiving fewer services, while the new, longer trains whizzed by.
So, we launched a campaign opposing any service reduction at Hornsey and Harringay. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 98 per cent of residents agreed with us!
We sent all of your responses to the Department for Transport (DfT), and on the day of the announcement, I went down to the department to make one final plea to save our services.
And I’m pleased to say that our hard fought campaign has been successful! The DfT have now announced that there will be no service reductions at any local stations, including Hornsey and Harringay.
In addition, the DfT also confirmed that, under the new franchise, evening and weekend services would now run into Moorgate as well as King’s Cross, and that Hornsey and Harringay stations will now be permanently staffed.
This is a great victory for local commuters, rail users and the Lib Dems – our train services will be improved and no services will be lost!
Last week, there was also very good news about Pinkham Way. The local Lib Dems and I have campaigned for years against the North London Waste Authority’s plans to build a huge waste plant on the site, which is situated just off the North Circular.
For years, residents lived in the shadows of this thoroughly unsuitable plan – worried about the effects on the local environment and property prices. The Labour council also turned their backs on us – waving through the plans without question.
But after years of Liberal Democrat and Pinkham Way Alliance campaigning, countless petitions, legal challenges and more, the waste authority has finally seen sense and cancelled plans for the Pinkham Way site!
We still remain vigilant on both issues. We will keep an eye on plans for the rail services and on the Pinkham Way site, to ensure that local residents’ voices are heard.
But for now, the battles have been won. I’d like to thank every single resident who took part in these campaigns. The local Lib Dems and I have worked tirelessly on them – but couldn’t have achieved success without the significant support from local residents.
The combination of Liberal Democrats and people power in Haringey strikes again!