Friday, 16 October 2009

Hackney Wick Station Closes for 4 Months!!!

While doing the spring bulb planting earlier this week - the main topic of conversation was the closure of Hackney Wick Station -and several other along the line!

I did a lot more homework - and although the exact date is still being kept a secret - it will be happening just after the turn of the year.

So - Leabank Square - lets do a short review.......

Public Transport more or less shapes this part of Hackney Wick. Besides us being the 'This Bus Terminates Here' end of numerous bus routes - we are also one stop (Stratford) from the end of the North London Line. We are too far away from the new East London Line (nearest station will be Dalston) for it to be too viable to start travels. And then there are the ever changing bus stops that keep being dug up for very long periods of time.

Most Hackney Wick residents do not have a car - and are completely at the mercy of public transport - and some of us have been very active in keeping the tenuous links still passing by Hackney Wick. Now it seems that the most reliable travel link will be taken out for at least 4 months!!

Of course it is necessary to lengthen the platforms in preparation for all the Olympic traffic - but what we were all discussing was - if it was absolutely necessary to completely close the station?

Can't they somehow keep the station open at peak-times - and work during the middle part of the day? Couldn't they keep one side's platform open while they work on the opposite one? Could they not erect temporary platforms & steps further along the tracks? Oh we had many wacky ideas - best of all was Tony offering his paid services to piggy-back passengers down the embankment!

I'm sure they are going to lay on replacement buses - but we already have them on Sundays - and all know what an absolute joke they are!

So - the only suggestions we can all offer are:

  • Join us cycling residents for regular shopping trips

  • Start planning alternative arrangements now

  • Get Tescos to deliver your groceries - and charge the £5 delivery cost to TFL

  • Notify all your friends and families - so that they can use alternative travel arrangements

  • Get to know a local taxi firm a bit better

  • Gather a few more take out leaflets for days you just can't make it to the supermarkets

.......... there! Just a few we managed to come up with in between planting next springs daffodils. Please send any more suggestions to us all if you come up with brighter ideas!

Olympic Park cuts off Hackney Wick

I'm not in the habit of bigging up any of Murdock & Co's newspapers - but this excellent article is well worth reading. Rest assured - by reading it online he doesn't make too much more money!

But it deals with the loss of Carpenters Road. This was the road we all used to get to Stratford from Hackney Wick. Sure it was a cycle hazard - I remember a wheel come rolling out of one of the dodgy breakers yards - and just missing my son on his tag-a-long!

But it was so crucial to get to the library, the brilliant Discovery Centre, the cheaper markets, the ever-changing Stratford Shopping Centre - and of course the station.

But the along came the Olympics and cut us off. Ever since - there has been an eroding friendship effect between the two old East End neighbours. The Greenway is still an alternative to cycle along - but it regularly gets closed for some or other construction reason.

That just leaves the North London Overground. But soon into 2010 - this too closes for 4 months while the platforms are lengthened on a few stations!!

It is as if the options for visiting friends and old neighbours are being slowly taken away from all of us by the ODA. Anyway - please read this article - and see what you think - please feel free to comment on either this blog - or the linked Times one.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Save the Hackney Empire

Okay - so I know it's not exactly Hackney Wick - but so many of us Wickers go to the Hackney Empire - that it feels a part of the Wick somehow.

Right - so the news is that it will shut for 9 months after the year-end panto season. This will save them some money - and they should be able to open again - this time next year in a better financial position.

Then work you way up to the Prime Minister if you have to - but please get them to do or say anything to make sure that the Hackney Empire gets to re-open. Sometimes these temporary closures have a way of becoming permanent - and the more of us that keep the pressure on the decision makers - the better chance there is of making people stick to their word.

Any ideas for what we might want from a future Hackney Empire posted up here as comments - will be passed on to the board at the Hackney Empire.